Galloping Dick - The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia (2023)

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"In dealing with land thieves the new romanticism has been prone to revert to those of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Such a highwayman is the Richard Ryder of H. B. Marriott Watson's "Galloping Dick" (1896) and "The King's Highway" (1907), a swashbuckler of Restoration days, whose speech teems with Odds and Oons, Gadsbobs, 'Slifes, and Lards, and whose sword is as ready to fly from its scabbard as his tongue to drop scurrility."--The Literature of Roguery (1907) by Frank Wadleigh Chandler

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Rhombicuboctahedron by Leonardo da Vinci

Galloping Dick (1896) is a book by H. B. Marriott Watson.


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H.B.MARRIOTT WATSON823.7.W34G C.1 Galloping Dick, beingStanford University Libraries3 6105 048 087 899Edurand M aslin sluline 823,7 W34 gSITYCIBRASGift ofEdwardMaslin Hulme, Esq.UUورد را در ردمارکت

SASARGalloping Dick11!!Galloping DickBeing Chapters from the Life andFortunes of Richard Ryder,otherwise Galloping Dick,sometime Gentlemanof the RoadByH. B. Marriott Watson neChicagoStone & KimballMDCCCXCVI7110COPYRIGHTBY STONE & KIMBALLMDCCCXCV390307THESE CHAPTERS HAVE ALREADYAPPEARED IN THE PAGES OF THENEW REVIEW AND THE CHAP-BOOK111ContentsI. THE QUANDARY OF THE BISHOP Page 9II . THE MAN FROM CORNWALL 49III. THE LADY'S CHAMBER 93IV. THE KING'S TREASURE 137181 V. THE JUG AND THE BOTTLEVI. Of A MEETING AT FULHAM 2251The Quandаry of the Bishop

ITHE QUANDARY OF THEBISHOPHE chance seemed fallen inty my hands,and without my expectation. The placewas very privy; the sun stood at four of theafternoon , and already the heaven was , blackening overhead. A thin cold wind whistedthrough the empty trees, tossing the snow inspray , and the devil of a hard night was brew -eing. In the centre of the road, and bare to thisdesolation , the carriage stood forlorn , the shaftshalf buried in a drift, and the broken wheel fullcircle to the sky. And there lay the Bishop,reclining against his cushions, with his interrogating eyes upon me.“ You say truly ,” said the Bishop suavely ,“ the Church is ill - served by the minor clergyin some gross particulars."He set the tips of his fingers together, and complacently regarded the roof of his coach . IΙ9Galloping Dickconfess that I was mightily taken with his coolness, for he must needs have, a notion of mycalling, and yet there he sat, with his smug face uncrinkled, and his great body heaving placidly ,as though he had been this half - hour at easebefore his fire. I had the fancy to thrust hima little closer and springing from Calypso, Idrew to the carriage and leaned my arms acrossthe window . At this new proximity he appeared to start ever so little, and glanced at mefrom the edges of his eyes .d«There's the rub , ” says I. “For myself,L'am'naturally a man of peace, who can split a- wyeasand with his sword upon occasion . I pursue à sound life and a simple calling." The Bishopbowed in affable audience. " I am content withwhat goods the world, or chance, provides. Ifthere be some who have brought evil accusationsof greed upon me, why, what matters it, if aman's conscience be right with his Maker?And you, my lord, will surely know the calam itous and miserable calumniations put upon ourpoor human nature? ”The Bishop nodded slowly. “ ' T is just,”says he, “ for tongues will wag; " and returnedIOThe Quandаry of the Bishop66to the equable contemplation of his cushions . Theimperturbable air of those fat features nettled me.Sometimes, ” I resumed, “ ' t is true that Ihave fallen away from my own conception ofmyself. I have suffered from an egregious desireto sound of fine repute, to cut a figure in theworld . That vice, we know, lies also in theheart of many a priest."The Bishop assented gravely. “ But ' t is after tall but a minor flaw ,” said I, “ in a character ofcardinal virtues.” The Bishop waved his handpolitely, as though deprecating a matter of smallimport." And then «But I fear I weary The Bishop straightened himself uponhis seat. • Indeed,” he replied, “ I find yourcase of much interest and instruction .”I vowed that I would break his resolute equanimity. “ No man shall say , ” I says with someheat, “ that the Church has not ever had my inward fealty. Leal son have I been to her. Ihave paid tithes and given charities. But ofttimesi ' faith "” —and here I laughed — " 't wasfetched out of some noodle's pocket.”I paused. The Bishop lifted the tips of his» said "66-IIGalloping Dickfingers apart, and looked at me. “ I fear ,” saidhe, “ that there is no conscience but carries grievous burdens. "He nestled more snugly in his cushions, crossedhis plump legs, and closed his eyes; and with theact seemed to dismiss me from his presence. Isurveyed him for a moment in silence, and withsome amazement. Not a point upon his wellordered body but witnessed to a life of ease anddignity. He was full- fed; his spreading bellywas arrogant with appetite; his broad calmface was rich with ample and luxurious wastes.He was built generously upon secure and comfortable years . And there he lay, the roughwind thrashing his warm Alesh , obnoxious to theinstant handling of a wild highwayman , mumbling a conversation in polite terms, unmoved by danger, and underanged by discomfort. Thecontrol of the man was so admirable that I mustpush it to its limits. cr'Fore Heaven , ” says Ito myself, “ I will see this fine courage toppledown, if I keep sheep by moonlight for it. ”I had never a stomach for Mother Church, butthis damned ugly lump was come near to turn1 A pretty pastoral euphemism for “ hang in chains."1I 2The Quandаry of the Bishopbe sureme parson. I leaned over and tapped him onthe knee. He opened his eyes with an air ofweariness, and fastened them upon me with afaint gesture of apology .“ I fear I have been rude enough to fall asleep ,”says he.Indeed ,” I answered sharply , “ ' t is ill manners, as you may see, to split through a gentleman's discourse so lightly. I did myself the honour to begin you my history . ”“ You must forgive me, " said the Bishop, withthat wave of his hand. “ Pray continue. To- your history .”“ Hark'ee,” said I roughly . “ You professyourself a vicar of Heaven . Damn and shrive –these be the transactions of your precious trade!You hold a knife to poor mortal throats, and scare ' em with hell- fires, as I might tickle thosethick creases of your own. And which were thegreater sin? " I asked with indignation.“ Indeed,” said he softly, “ you do us bothinjustice. But ' t is a bitter night for so long andengrossing an argument as this is like to developbetween us. ’ T would please me greatly else,and if I may but see you at some other time13Galloping Dick>aHe bowed, and left the invitation in his bow.“ But I was to hear your history ,” says he. “ Iinterrupt you. Pray proceed."The serenity of his phrases staggered me, andI could do naught but scrape my wits up in aheap and burst out on him. “ ' Fore gad ," I brokeforth , “ I have stopped a man's vitals for less impudence than yours. A bloody priest, forsooth ,to prate of justice and of argument! You are aman of Holy Writ. Faugh! Call me a ruffian,a cut-throat, or a vagabond - but I have brokeyour decalogue into a thousand pieces, and turnedand shattered 'em again .”That,” said the Bishop gravely , “ lies be twixt yourself and your Maker . ' Tis a pity inso well- favoured a youth as you would seem ,”and his glance strayed over me deliberately.«But I have known many ruffians like yourselfin a long and lively experience.”He put his hand to his coat, and slowly with drawing a snuff -box, tapped meditatively upon thelid. And at the sight I was divided strangely ina confusion between a roaring sense of laughterand an angry surge of ill-temper. Swinging inthe balance uncertainly for a moment, I dropped14The Quandаry of the Bishopwith a plump at length upon the side of passion .The Bishop was staring into his snuff. I rappeda pistol over his knuckles, and when he lookedup he gazed instead down the long hollows ofthe barrel.Come, ” said I, with a rough oath , “ forthwith your precious guineas, or I'll spoil the smooth beauty of those cheeks. I will have youunload your pockets, my fat vicegerent, as I can not force you disburden your conscience. Offwith your jewels and your rings! ”The Bishop inspected the weapon without flinching, and then looked me quietly in the face .“ You have been very tedious, my friend,” sayshe. s . Indeed, I was in some hopes that myrascals would have returned ere you had foundyour spirit for the job .”I could not but admire him even through myirritation , but I kept the muzzle at his head, andcried out impatiently: “ Ha' done, my lord, ha 'done! ' Tis ill jesting with Dick Ryder on hisrounds. Out, out with your long, fat purse."For the first time in our intercourse a slightsmile gleamed in the Bishop's eyes, and his whiteface fell into deeper corrugations. Withdrawing

15Galloping Dickthe rings from his fingers, he placed them with his purse in my hand without a word, and lookedat me inquiringly. I clapped the booty in mypockets with a nod of satisfaction, while droppingback into his seat he slowly recrossed his legs .“ And now ," quoth he, “ you will, I trust,allow me to repose in quiet. I have had a long day's journey, and my travels are not yet at theirterm. Perhaps you will permit me to say that your conversation, which I doubt not would haveengaged me very pleasantly upon another occasion , fell somewhat inopportune. I am an oldman, and have tired. If you will be so goodas to leave me, betwixt now and the return ofmy coachman with the horses I shall have thefelicitous chance of sleep .”“ My lord ," I answered amiably, for my illhumour was gone, and I liked the possession ofI wish you the deepest of slumber "-he inclined his head courteously. «And if,”says I, “ there is any favour you might requireof me ere I go, why, damn it, ” says I, “ youshall have it, and welcome.”“ My good Ryder, as that is your name,"said the Bishop suavely, “ nothing in the world, I>the man ,<<16The Quandаry of the Bishopassure you, save perhaps that you will adjust thewindow , for the night is falling very shrewd.”I threw Calypso's bridle over my arm and bent myself to his request. As I finished , andwas on the point of slapping to the door, theBishop glanced at me. “ I fear ,” said he, withanother smile, “ that none of the guineas in thatsomewhat lean purse will find their way tochurch . ' Tis, of course, no business of mine.I do not presume to dictate to any man's conscience. You pay tithes, you say , and give incharity. It is excellent hearing, and I confessthat I was in some hope a little earlier, when you vaunted those virtues so proudly, that someof my guineas might perchance come back to me hereafter. But it was a momentary thoughtonly. You know your own trade. I wish yougood- night. I fear ' t is a cold ride for you .”And he dismissed me with a gentle motion ofhis hands.Now I have ever been a fellow of red - hotimpulse, and my passions and my humourmingle so strangely and vie so oddly , that Iswear I can scarce tell at one moment what fitwill take me the next. And at this inimitable17Galloping Dick>farewell, so suavely phrased , and so courteously charged , stinging the while with such faint andfriendly satire, I was so vastly tickled that Icould not forbear bursting into laughter in thatsilent road. “ The devil take me! ” says I,“ I love a bishop, and to lighten a brother -wit is monstrously against my stomach. So here's for you, my lord . ” And with that I swept the purse and the rings at a motion into hisapron .The Bishop stirred and regarded me withmild surprise. Then, smiling and shrugginghis heavy shoulders, he replaced the rings slowlyupon his hands. «This, I take it, is not repentance? ” he asked , thoughtfully.“ Nay ,” said I jauntily. “ Take it for whatyou will . Call it a whim, conceive it a dotingfancy for a tough old cock, or imagine me apenitent ripe for the altar. It matters not soyou carry off your jewels in safety .”“ You are mistaken , Ryder," says the old gen tleman , shaking his head. «Were it a whim,I should expect a sharp change. Should it be apious penitence, I should have no option save topursue the gracious miracle —- with sound relig>a18The Quandаry of the Bishop-ious advice and the ordinances of the Church.And if it came of a sudden appreciation of, asyou say - he paused “ myself and my poormerits” –he paused again , and, having settled his rings, took a pinch of snuff — “ I shouldhave a mind to ask your company at dinner.”“ Curse me! ” says I, “ let us put it at that,then. The cold is peaking my bowels into avery respectable appetite .”The Bishop dusted the snuff from his apronand fell back into his lounge. “ You press metoo hard, ” said he, reproachfully . “ I am not ofso young a blood to take these sharp turns withyou; ” and he eyed me as if inviting speech.“ The Devil! ” I retorted warmly . “ I willfasten myself upon no man's hospitality. ' Twas of your own notion.”“ An offer," he explained smoothly , “ upon afitting occasion ."“ Well,” says I laughing, “ what occasion willbetter this? ”The Bishop considered me coldly. “ I amto dine,” he observed, “ with my Lord Petersham, who celebrates to-night the marriage of the Lady Mary."19Galloping DickI laughed again. " And you with a brokencoach, my lord! ” I cried.The Bishop reflected. “ It is true,” he replied, “ that I am in some difficulty , but my rascals will be here shortly . And that, too ,”he added , with a smiling blink, “ upon the topof yourself, my friend . ”“ A fig for your rascals! ” said I. • Theyare lucky if they get them a pair of horses withinfive miles of Wretford this night." The Bishopfrowned . “ The night is bleak and wild , ” Icontinued , “ and the snow is piled in deep driftsupon the highways. If your coachman has theroad by heart — "“ He is a stranger to these parts," interrupted the Bishop.Why, then ,” says I, “ he will reach your lordship by cock -crow , if he reach at all . Orrather, we shall stumble upon his body in somegutter by the way.”“ Your suggestions are drawn black, Ryder,”sighed the Bishop.“ As black as the night, or my own heart ,your lordship ,” said I gaily.“ And you would propose--.?? ” he asked , aftera pause .>20The Quandаry of the Bishopsays I,«An inn close by, at which you might supand repose with warmth and comfort. A bottleof wine and a roast loin of veal, my lord; andme, too , Dick Ryder, for company, in admiringwitness of your estimable qualities.” I concludedwith a long congee, and when I looked up againhe was watching me with some suspicion.“ Faith , ” said I, “ you have reached me fortha warm invitation, and you would now withdraw? Fie, fie! my lord. But as I may notbe your guest for lack of confidence, sink me,”" then you shall be mine, and none theworse for that.”The Bishop cocked his head upon one side and scrutinised me carefully .“ Lord , Lord,” I cried, “ but here's a doubting Thomas! ” And loosening my belt I fungpistols and sword upon his lap.The Bishop smiled, and took a pistol by themuzzle in a most gingerly manner of distaste .“ I have never set off a fire - arm but once ,” hemused, “ and by accident it hit a grocer. ”“ Pooh! ” said I, grinning, “ ' tis all one,whether of design or accident. The hole isblown, and the poor groaning soul slides through.a21Galloping DickAnd I call you to witness that ' t is not so muchfor the meddling of your own fingers as to secure the weapons out of my own reach, and for thesake of these insolent suspicions."“ I do you wrong , Ryder , " said the Bishop gravely , “ I do you wrong. But I will havenone of these detestable things about me. Andhe pushed them from him with a little grimace of disgust.“ Why, then , let us begin ," I urged. “ Andif you will take my mare , I will put us both upon the proper way to a comfortable retirement.”" And my Lord Petersham , ” said the Bishop,with a twinkle in his eye, " must wait? "Faith , and he must," I answered, “ untilour stomachs are filled , when I will myself conduct you upon the road. ”“ Captain Ryder," said the Bishop, lurching clumsily out of the carriage, “ I am much inyour insistence.”The darkness had now fallen pretty thick , andthe snow lay deep and soft underfoot; but wemade safely , if at some pains, down the bye-roadwhich led to Wretford, the Bishop a black lumpupon Calypso, and myself straddling the carriageCCCyour debt for22The Quandаry of the Bishopahorse which his servant had left . The windtook us in the hindquarters only, and for that Iwas glad, as it stung like a thousand knives upon the naked face. I was mightily pleased to beout of that bleak night and stowed in a snugwarm house: and in this regard I'll warrant theBishop was none behind me. The inn wasempty; but the chamber into which the innkeeper showed us roared with flaming logs, andat the first glow of the light upon the woodenwalls the Bishop turned to me and smiled.“ We shall do well, ” he says, “ if the supper be in any keeping with this show of comfort."“ And by the Lord, my lord , ” I put in, “ youmay trust Dick Ryder for that . ”“ And now ," says he, still smiling and veryaffably , “ is it you that dine with me, or am Idetermined as the guest? ”“ My lord ,” said I, bobbing to him, for Iwould take him in his own vein, “ we gentlemen of the road claim the honours of the road;and if you will receive the hospitality of the road,your lordship’s invitation shall stand over for abetter occasion.”23Galloping DickupI think he was affected by the impudence ofmy offer, as indeed I had meant him to be, forhe chuckled ever so softly , and turning to thefire warmed his hands. “ So be it, Ryder, sobe it ,” he said .My stomach was tolerable enough when thefeast was served, and I clapped my spurs under the chair and fell to with all my teeth. Andnone ' so backward was his lordship, neither. Hesnuffed the rich odours of the stuffed veal withhis inordinate nostrils; he breathed in the finesmelling spiceries with an air; and he took pos session of the table with magnificent and easypomp. The dignified behaviour of the creature,so incongruous to his circumstances, tickled merarely, and I could have slapped my thigh to see me there, squatting over against such company ,with all the graces of an Earl at Court. Andfirst he Aings me out his napkin and spreads it evenly across his belly . • And now ,” says he,• a little grace, Ryder, will come convenient' twixt you and me. We must e'en consecratea feast derived one knows not whence."He spoke so smooth and with so gentle a sarcasm that I should have been a sorry knave to24The Quandаry of the Bishophave taken any offence out of his words. Indeed,I had no disposition now to look upon anythingsave with humour, and the phrase was pat enough in all knowledge.“ If your reverence,” says I , cannot musterprayers for both, why I'll make shift to furbishup a tag for myself."“ ' T is part of our episcopal duty ,” he returned , “ to take charge of these small courtesiesto our Maker.” And with that, having muttered a scrap or so —which did well enough for me,God knows!-- -he whipped up a knife and fellon the victuals.There was a fulness about his hunger which was much to my mind. The fire roared behind him , and the room was very pleasantly filledwith warmth and perfume. I cannot bring to mind that we spoke much or of consequence forthe first ten minutes. But somewhere about thethird course ( an extremely well jugged hare ),and when for my own part the edge of my appetite was blunting, I looked up and met the Bishop's eye, which was fixed upon me meditatively.He raised his glass and sipped of theclaret slowly;set it down upon the table; and pinching up his25Galloping Dick11eyes the while, stared thoughtfully from it to me and from me to it again. “ Of a cold hard night, Ryder,” said he, picking out his words,“a warm soft wine linesastomach gratefully. We oppose opposites in themeetest sense

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and, to take my own poor judg

ment, the frankest advice, if it be for the commoncomfort, consists with the most polite and sacredusages of society. This wine—?” He paused,and inquired of me in silence.I brought my fist witha thump upon theboard.“ Sink me fora scurvy worthless loon,”saidI angrily, forI was ina blush of shame tohave played so evila trick on him.I tookadraught myself, and plumped down the glasswith an oath.“'T is so, by Heaven,”I said

“ cold harsh stuff and biting to the vitals.” And I sprang at the door to call upon mine host. “ I felt,” explained the Bishop politely, “ that some point was askew in a dinner elseso perfect.”I roared to the landlord, who came falling upthe stairs in his fuss and fright.I took him inby the shoulders and drubbed him with roundabuse.“ Perish my soul,”I cried,“ you filthy1>26The Quandаry of the Bishoptapster, to fub off upon the Bishop and me thisgriping verjuice, that is fit not even for a surfeitof swine! Are we gutter hogs," I said, “ toswill on swipes and sour the edges of our teethon vinegar? And his lordship there of as delicate a stomach as any lady in the straw! ”There was never a wretch made so mean afigure as the rascal when I had him by the collarunder this storm; but the Bishop said nothingtill the fool was got off, shambling in a fit of terror, to his cellars . Then he lay back andlooked at me very mildly.• There is a certain rough vigour in yourtongue, Ryder, ” said he, “ and of scurril termsyou have a most remarkable empire. But itsounds so strangely in my ears that it has fallenwith something of a clap upon me. I will notcriticise my host,” says he, " and to cross thehabits of a life smacks of a meddling Anabaptist.But, an ' you must march in your full habit as aman, Bishop ' were best left unsaid, Ryder,and his lordship ’ might with profit hold overtill the blood runs cool. You will observe thatI tuck up my apron for convenience . ”“ You speak well, my lord, " I replied penia a27Galloping Dick66,tently , “ and if you will be so good as shrive me for the sacrilege, split me, I'll hold by yourdirections for the future. ”And here came the flasks with the innkeeper,which, uncorking, we dipped our noses in a rareold burgundy. My lord held up his head andblinked at me good -humouredly across the table.For all that I will not deny, ” said he, “ thevalue of such vigour.”We drank again. The wine was rarely generous. The Bishop drained his glass and pouredit full afresh . He beamed at me, and twirledthe shank between his fingers and against thelight.“ T was an admirable thought, Ryder,” hesaid, smiling, “ that you should have recalledthis inn. I wonder, now, where that laggardcoachman of mine may be? ”• Deep to his neck in drifts, ” says I, with alaugh .“ ' T would be a pity,” said the Bishop, shaking his head, “ an ill bed upon a bitter night.But let us hope,” he added cheerfully , that "the rascal is kicking his heels by a comfortablefire .”28The Quandаry of the Bishop“ And drinking some such noble liquor as hismaster,” I put in.The Bishop laughed, showing his fine whiteteeth . He laughed, and drank again. «Andyet,” said he, moralising, “ rightly thought on,Ryder, these afflictions and visitations of theweather have still their divine uses.” I cockedmy eye at him, in wonder, to see him breakout in this preaching fashion . “They teach us ,Ryder, to cast up the blessings of our homes,and they are uncommon fine in titillating an appetite ,” he ended, with a chuckle.“ And a thirst, by your lordship’s leave,” Iadded, addressing myself to the wine.The Bishop's eyes followed the dusty flask,and lingered upon it with thoughtfulness. “ Wewill have another , ” said I, promptly, rising tomy feet.>6• Another? ” said the Bishop dubiously.Why, yes, another , ” I repeated, with decision, “ I am no sand - bed , but I am no stop-thebottle, neither .”“ Well, then, another,” assented the Bishop,with a sigh.When I took my seat again, the Bishop was29Galloping Dick6eyes twinkledcontemplating me with some curiosity . «Youhave a wife , Ryder? ” he asked .“ I have as good ," I answered, “ and as pretty a doxy as lives this side of London.Here's to her health, ” says I.The Bishop took out his snuff -box , and,tapping it very carefully, “ I do not know ,”said he, “ if there be any sufficient authority forthe relation in canon law, but ' t will serve ,doubtless, for my argument.”“ And for our toast, my lord , ” said I stoutly.The Bishop looked at me, hissuddenly , and he lifted his glass. " And forour toast, as you have well observed , Ryder , ”he agreed.In the pursuit of my business I have had occasion to mingle in a variety of company. Ihave dined with the Lord Chief Justice - notwith his will, to be sure; I have encountered aRoyal Prince; and I have entertained several noble ladies and gentlemen of title upon compulsion. Altogether I have a tolerable acquaintanceamong the quality. But the Bishop was more tomy taste than the most amiable them; andwhen he spoke of Polly Scarlett in such kindlyamong>a30The Quandаry of the Bishop>terms, the friendliness went straight to my heart,and I reached over my hand and stuck it at him.“ My lord,” says I, “ you take me by theheart, and ' fore Heaven, if you had a score ofpurses you should go free of the confraternity.As one gentleman of the road should speak toanother, so do I speak to you. And now, ifthere be any toast your lordship may be nursingin his desires, do not smother it up,” said I,“ but unwrap it and show it forth, and I willdrink it , though it should be to the topsmanhimself. ”“ I am under infinite obligations for the favour,Ryder," said the Bishop, bowing at me, “ butI fear I have no one for this honour.”“ Come,”” I protested, “ roll ' em all in yourmind, my lord, and turn ' em over on yourtongue. I'll warrant there's a pretty womansomewhere at the back .”The Bishop seemed to consider, and shookhis head gravely . “ It appears, Ryder,” saidhe, “ that you are too sanguine. We will leavethe tribute where it stands. ”“ Then ," I exclaimed, “ sure,, we will drinkwithout it. ” And I pushed over the flask .931Galloping Dick

The Bishop daintily filled his glass with his fat fingers, and we drank once more. His stomachmerged over the table: it ranged collateral withthe wine, and tickled me with the notion ofsome great vat beside the empty bottles. I shookwith laughter, and the Bishop smiled genially .“ Speaking as one gentleman of the road wouldto another, Ryder , " says he, “ I declare I havenever kept such disreputable company in my life.”I have confessed the wine was rich andcordial: it flowed warmly through my veins,and set my head high and whirling like aweather- cock . And at this jest I fell to laughing louder, for the thrust appeared to me apiece of pretty wit. I smacked my thigh , andbellowed till the rheum ran over my eyes, andat last I pulled up and found the Bishop veryquiet and fallen into a kind of abstraction . Inmy merry mood I took this ill; for a gentlemanmust needs complete a bargain to the end, andI hate your sour looks and solemn faces.“ Look’ee, my lord ,” I cried, with somecholer, “ if 't is my Lord Petersham that youare regretting, why have it out, and let us finishyour thoughts aloud. ”32The Quandаry of the BishopThe Bishop lifted his eyebrows with a faintexpression of amusement. “ I vow, Ryder,”said he, “ that I had clean forgot my LordPetersham. '“ That is well,” I returned , dropping backinto my chair. • But,” he continued, thoughtfully, “ in truth , now that you recall me to myduty , I must remember also that pleasure hasan end. ”He rose, and I rose with him. “ My lord , ”I said, for I was all for a long night, “ it wouldill become me to press you from your duty, butif you will consider the night "“ Ah , Ryder," he interrupted , smiling graciously, “ pray do not beset a poor sinner withtemptations.” He stood before the fire, warming “ This has been a pleasant encounter, 'says he, “ and now I will keep you to yourpromise."As he put it in that way, I had no morewords against his purpose, and, having settledthe score, we set forth again upon the horses, myself this time upon Calypso. The night was stillvery bitter, but I, at least, was warm with wine,and I think the Bishop, too, was full enough forhis legs.33Galloping Dickcomfort. Yet the cold edge of the wind somewhat reduced my fervour, and where I was rolling three-parts -free in liquor ten minutes back, Iwas now mainly sobered and continent of allmy senses. I knew the land by rote, and weproceeded easily by lanes and windings, througha grievous slush of snow, until, at the end ofhalf an hour, we came out on the ridge of thehill (I knew it of old ) which lies in the rear of my Lord Petersham's castle .At the crossroads the Bishop reined in hishorse, and turned to me. “ I think, Ryder,”said he, but courteously, “ that we shall be wellquit of each other here. I make a dull companion for youth, and you have, doubtless, along ride before you."Dull, ” says I, “ be damned! I'll wager upon you before all the bucks of town.”The Bishop smiled . “ So rich a testimonyfrom yourself, Ryder, " he observed, “ shouldgo far to keep me in repute. ”“ You may have it and welcome, my lord,”I answered. “ And here," I added, as a noiseof wheels came up the hill , “ no doubt you wilifind some friends with whom I may leave you."66>"34The Quandаry of the BishopI could hear the horses snorting and theheavy carriage creaking, as it strained slowly to the top:a“ Ryder,” said the Bishop, after a pause, andlooking at me quizzically, “ I am like to eatworse dinners than to -night's, and to meet muchpoorer entertainment."At that moment the heads of the horses camepopping over the rise. “ Why, as for entertainment,” says I jovially, for the Devil, somehow, took me all in a second, “ 't is not all atan end, neither, I can promise you.” For thefancy caught me up of a sudden , and rapt me off in the maddest of whimsies; and as the carriagerolled out into the moonlight I beckoned the Bishop forward and rode up in his company . Iwas not two minutes over the business. Therewas the postilion imploring mercy on his knees,the woman shrieking, the gentleman himselfswearing a stream of oaths, and my pistol throughthe window — the whole rare picture in a flash!“ Why, what is this? " stammered the Bishopin amazement. - What –why - And hishorse, backing and plunging under his clumsyhandling, saved me the rest of his protest. But,-a35Galloping Dickseizing the bridle in my left hand, I forthwithbrought his nose up to the window.• Sir,” said I, politely, to the man in thecoach, “ the frost holds hard, and the snow liesheavy, and my friend and I, lacking purses ofour own, must needs borrow of our neighboursto carry us to that excellent host, my Lord Petersham's. And as on this great occasion of theLady Mary's marriage, we should think shameto do things with a niggard hand, why, we arefain to dip deep into your pockets. I am sure,"says I, with a glance at the lady, " that this lamentable condition of my friend in particular,for I am of younger and more vigorous blood,will merit the tender consideration of the sex .”I could have fallen off the mare for laughter,and for the first time in the adventures of thatnight I caught a look of consternation stampedupon the Bishop's face . But as for the couplein the coach, they made no more ado after theirfirst emotion. I have the repute of a manner,which, though it becomes me little to brag of it,carries me forward in my business without muchtrouble. The purses were Aung out ( one, as Ilive, at the Bishop) , the window was closed,36The Quandаry of the Bishopand the horses were slapping down the hill, erethe Bishop's face had lost its frown or his tonguefound words. I turned and met him squarely,but I was in a sweat to keep from laughing. Hebit his lip, and at the sight of his discomfiture, Icould contain myself no longer, but broke intomerriment. He was most horribly taken aback ,I vow. But “ This is unseemly , Ryder,” wasall he said; repeating it sharply then and there,“ This is unseemly .”I gave him some foolish retort, for I was cackling like a hen , and, steering his horse roundquickly, he started down the hill at a leisurelypace. But he had not gone very Ion him, and catching at the reins of his horse,I gave him the barrel at his eye.Nay, nay, my lord, ” says I, “ 't is discourteous to take such brief leave of a friend and companion . You shall have your share, honourably enough. Dismiss your dudgeon. Meanness was never cried of Galloping Dick. We shall takepart together. Come, you and I are engaged fora fine evening's pleasuring.”And with that I let him snatch a glimmer of thepistol. He stared at me reflectively for a space ,far ere was>a37Galloping Dicka with a frown upon his forehead , and then shrugged his shoulders after a foreign fashion of his. * Itseems, ” said he, “ that, having made free withthe Devil, I must e'en abide his company."“ That is so , " I retorted on him, grinning,«and ' t is not the first time the Church hasmade friends with him . ”“ ' Tis a lesson ," said the Bishop, continuinghis thoughts, “ one might protest, against bodilyindulgence .”“ Fie! fie! ” says I, “ a wit turned preacher?”“ I will have you observe, Ryder," says he,with asperity , “ that I am still your guest."His ease had not deserted the man , even in hisanger, and I would have made him a decentapology for the sneer, had not the rumble ofapproaching wheels distracted my attention .“ It appears," said the Bishop calmly,««thatthe post is well chosen, and you are like to capture all his lordship's guests."“ We, my lord, we! ” I cried, laughing.“ Of myself, I make no pretensions to courage ,but, bucklered with a fine fat fellow like yourself, I am fit to hold the road against a regimentof his Majesty .”38The Quandаry of the BishopI declare that I had no anticipation of theevent at the outset. The act was merely incidental; but when I smote the Bishop's horse upon the rump, he put up his forelegs and plunged out upon the road, fetching his head,with a crash, through the window of the carriageas it pulled up. Confusion fell in a moment, and a frightened face shrank into the interior of thecoach. The Bishop himself, for he was an in different horseman , being heavy above the saddle,was Alung in a lump across the mane, and satlooking in at the window with a very red and angry face. He was a formidable fellow , withgreat thick eyebrows, and I swear it was as much the contortion of his ugly features as myown appearance with the pistol that finished thebusiness on the spot. And he was scarce back in the seat ere the carriage was bowling awaydown the road. Then it was, perhaps, that Ihad most occasion to admire the man, for, righting himself with some labour, and settling hishe blew like a porpoise for someminutes. At the end he drew out his boxwith great difficulty , and, turning to me, tappedit after his habit; and, says he, snuffing: “ Thathat anew,

39Galloping Dick" ' T was6666was the Lady Crawshaw, ” says he.the last week but one I dined with her. "“ I trust,” said I , “ that she served your lordship well? ”• Indifferent, Ryder,” he declared, “ indifferent only. She has a shrewish tongue, and can keep no cook of parts. Indifferent; and thewine, too, after a woman's heart.” Then,“ You will observe, Ryder," he said , presently ," that I am an old man , and , however excitingthe adventure, that the wind bites hard. ”• My lord ,” I replied, bowing, for I was stillunder the spell of his demeanour, “ I can illafford to lose so useful a comrade, and there isthe hedge for shelter against our next enterprise. "Perhaps it was scarce what he had expected ,but he made no reply.I was already in excellent temper, for the humour of the affair fairly set my head buzzing;and on the next episode of the night I was Aushedwith my own roaring spirits, as though I hadbeen still drunken in the inn . And no soonerwas the sound of horses’ hoofs come up the hillbut I caught the Bishop by the arm and, horseby horse, we took the road . “ Here, comrade,">40The Quandаry of the Bishop66“ Two merrysaid I, “ faith , we have, as it seems, a fuller jobto our hands. " For at the moment two horsemen cantered into the crossways.young bloods from London town,” says I, “ who,I dare swear, have some spunk in the pair of them . But forward, forward, my bold cavalier!And we ' ll lay the gallants by the heels ere theyso much as darkle at us. And clapping a pistolin the Bishop's hand, I pricked up Calypso androde forward to meet them.I swept upon the two like a whirlwind, theBishop by my side clinging to his pommel, his apron flapping indecorously in the wind; andere they had sense of our business we were sideby side with them under the light of the moon.At the first sight of my fire - arm the young buck upon the hither side drew up his reins withdispatch, and his beast came down upon its haunches, while the other opened his mouthand gaped vacantly at me.“ Hold, my pretty culleys,” says I smoothly,6 for my lord and I have a little catechism foryour ears. "I tell the tale to my own discredit, but I wasnigh mad with excitement, and the humours of41Galloping Dick- Show your.--the evening had drove all my wits afloat. Butthe truth is that I saw the fellow fumbling at hisholster, and my own pistol was at t'other'shead; and so, with never a thought, I calledmerrily to the Bishop to stop him. «Showyour mettle," says I, laughing.mettle, my lord .”Why in sooth , with all my heart,” says theBishop smartly . And with that, all of a sudden- damn me - there was a cold nose at mytemple, and the Bishop's face, looking devilishlywicked, smirking into mine!The thing took me sharply aback, and therewas I, staring like a fool, and, for once in my life, with never a word to say for myself. Butnot so the Bishop. “ ' Tis a pretty sort of tri angular duel," says he pleasantly , “ in whichit seems I have the least to lose. But I trustit may be averted with a little discretion andhumility . Drop your weapon ,” says he, sharply .He had made me as safe as a fowl trussed forthe table, and I could do nothing but follow hisorder. Thereupon the two cravens, coming tothemselves, and eager to be quit with sound skins>42The Quandаry of the Bishopand full purses, whipped round their horses andmade off; and the Bishop and I were left togetherin the road. My lord regarded me maliciously,and at last, breaking into a something foolishlaugh, I found my tongue. Why, one gentleman of the road to rob another! ” says I.“ ' T is monstrous, my lord .”“ You will have a better knowledge of theetiquette than myself, who am but a novice,Ryder," says he, mightily pleased with himself.“ For a guest to rum -pad his host! ” I urged." ' T is beyond all manners.”“ Faith , I am so new to the trade that youmust pardon me if I am blind to these delicatedistinctions," says the Bishop, chuckling.“ Come," I remonstrated , “ this jest is after all in ill season. Put down that pistol.”“ The thought came into my head of a sud den ,” mused the Bishop. “· Indeed, it was of your own inspiration ."“ An' you do not,” I cried angrily; “ the Devil take me but I will shortly blast your uglyhead from off your shoulders.”“ And ' t was well I took lessons from soexcellent a master as yourself,” returned the>43Galloping DickBishop, unperturbed. “ It had been disastrousto have mistook the barrel.”“ Well,” says I sulkily , “ if you will act withthis gross dishonour, pray, what terms are youpleased to make? ”“ Why, here is reason ,” says the Bishop smiling, “and a very proper spirit of contrition .And, for the night does not mend and my bonesare old, I will not keep you longer. First, andto secure the good name of the Church whichstands committed in myself, you shall return meall those purses.”“ Half had been your share without this foolishpiece of comedy, ” says II surlily.“ Which ,” he went on, still smiling, “ I willendeavour to restore to their several owners.Secondly, you will retire to the foot of thecrossways, and I myself will watch you gallopout of sight within three minutes of the clock.Thirdly — " quoth he.“ Thirdly , ” says I, with a laugh. “ Whyhere is all the fashion of a sermon! ”“ And this , ” he observed, “ is a point towhich I will entreat your best attention you will rescind my invitation to the Palace, which,44The Quandаry of the Bishopawe may,you will recall, was bespoke in general, not inparticular. And, for corollary to this same item,Ryder,” says he with a whimsical look, “ shouldwe meet, as by some strange chance of HeavenI exact that you shall not hail me fora boon fellow before the world .”“ Offered ,” said I suddenly , “ like a worthyBishop, and accepted like a good highwayman.And here's my hand on it, ” says I.And at that, flinging off Calypso, I sprang upat him and clutched the wrist that held thepistol.The Bishop was fat and old and awkward , butfor all that he was no child at pap, and he madea gallant wrench or two for liberty . He struggledwith my hands, heaving his poor old shouldersup and down with stiff ungainly motions till Ifell to laughing again , and had wellnigh desistedfor laughter. But then, all of a sudden , therecame a sharp little crack , a hard smack fell on myleg, and the flesh of it pinched and burned and tingled as if it had been scratched by the Devil.I hopped and danced upon snow, and sworeout my soul; and then, jerking out my sword, Ilimped forward, and, seizing the Bishop's bridle,the45Galloping Dickput the point swiftly to his breast. He neverblenched, but looked critically and with interest at my leg. “ That,” says he mournfully,, “ isbut my second shot, and the pity of it is thatboth hit of accident.”I could not have helped it; his face and thewords set me off once more; and dropping myblade I put my knuckles in my hips and shoutedwith laughter.The Bishop waited, and when at length Icame to a pause he looked at me with interrogation. “ I suppose,” says he, " that I shallnot now have even my own half of the booty? ”«Take it ," I shouted, bursting out afresh,“ take it all, and go in God's name, or whoever be your master. I would not rid the Establishment of such a pillar —no, not for salvation fromthe Pit.”And, flinging the bags at his apron , I mountedCalypso and rode off, laughing still.-46The Man from Cornwall中47

IITHE MAN FROM CORNWALLNOOW , my encounter with Sir Ralph Leybourne, which was the original of certaincurious sequels, fell in this wise. I had danced apretty lively sort of jig across country , and was now posting for the West, several shires, indeed, beingat that time too warm for my toes. It was thenmy usage, as it has ever been, upon such alarmsto settle in a private retirement, and hear the wind blow over my head; whether ' t was with PollyScarlett in the Ratcliff Highway, or may be ina snug corner with some other Mrs. Bitchington.But of all these give me Polly for my taste . Andnow that the traps were out in town, and I was pictured thick in many a Hue and Cry, I was,for the nonce , in pursuance of this policy, for acheerful seclusion in the distance . So it happenedthat at eight of the clock on that fifth of June Iset out from Sutton Valence, astride upon Calypso,and by midday drew up at a little village, a leagueor so ť other side of Bath. Here was a tolerable49Galloping Dickaale - house with a large bare room; and me and ared-haired stranger to fill it of ourselves.If there be one character next to the habit ofa prompt arm that best serves our profession , ' t is surely the property of a sharp observation , and soit was upon my companion that my eyes fell nowwith particular attention. He was a huge, leanfaced man, with tall, rough bones to his cheeks,and a pair of hard, cross - cut eyes —ugly to lookon, but something superior in air, and of a certaininterest to denote. Nor was his aspect pleasanterthan his face, for he wore a nasty scowling look,and had the appearance of a fellow that wouldleap down your mouth ere you opened it. Nowthis was the man for my money. He challengedme, and for the love of God I could not put aname upon his business; which, as you maysuppose, set me off in a twinkling.I laid down my knife, took a draught of wine,and “ Sir, ” says I, observing him in a friendlyway, “ for a townsman, as I should interpretyou, you show a lively appetite.” For there washe filling his belly with the meats in a greedy,hasty fashion, and never so much as a glance atme, or a civil by - your -leave.>50The Man from CornwallCAt that he turned sharply, stared at me for aninstant with a scowl, and then, seeming verylumpish, “ No better than your own,” says hein a surly voice.“ Why, formyself,” said I pleasantly , “ I makeno boast of an old maid's appetite. I can use aknife and platter with my fellows. But there isappetite , ” said I with emphasis, “ and there is aranting, roaring belly; and the one IΙ should thinkshame of, save under sore needs.”“ You are scarce civil,” says he, with a sourface on him, and shortly, as one who would be at no trouble to pick up a quarrel or pass a patrejoinder. But I was in no humour to be thusput down.>Why, then ,” said I, “ to be civil is to sitstark before your meats, gulping like a hog, andfor two gentlemen to lower across the table uponone another. If that be civility ,” says I, “ damnyour civility ,” I says . ΙThe fellow went on with his meal withouteven the compliment of a word, at which I wassomewhat nettled; but seeing I was embarkedupon the sally , Dick Ryder was not the man tocry quits with an ugly - visaged, cross - grained ,a51Galloping Dickacountry -bred oaf. And it struck me, too, at themoment that the cully might be one of my owncalling, and in much the same plight as myself;for ' t is notorious that some of our trade are surlyrascals enough, with no more manners than ajackal.“ If it be,” I resumed tartly , “ that a pair ofgood eyes and a leash of sound legs and arms would be the better wanting in your company,then I take you," says I, “ and, faith , I am inthe heart to tolerate your reputable dudgeon. ButI would have you to learn, my friend, that sus picion breeds suspicion , and that he is a fool whowould not dare to carry off his case with a firm ,high hand.”«What do you mean? ” he asks, in a startledvoice .“ I am no head at a guess," says I, stickingmy finger at the thick, red soils upon his boots,“ but I swear I can pin a point upon honestQuantock mud.”I vow I never saw a man's face flame to sucha sudden passion. His colour blew as strong as hishair, and he clapped his hand to his sword, muttering very angrily and with a suggestion of terror .52The Man from CornwallI laughed , and poured out a glass from thebottle . “ Mark me, ” said I, with good humour,“ ' t was of honest Quantock loam I spoke. And' tween you and me I'll warrantweare acquaintedwith the discrimination ."“ I am come, ” says he sulkily, - from Worcester . ”“ And sure,” said I, smiling, “ that willserve very well to explain a monstrous appetite;and the rather that the road is poor, and thetopsman hath a heavy hand.”Now he looked at me, as I saw, in someperplexity , and with an ingenuous frown ofwonder; and with that I knew that I was takenup with a wrong notion, and I drew up mightysudden, as you may fancy. Presently his eyes fell, and with an indifferent lift of his shouldershe resumed his guttling. It tickled me so to seehis unhandsome gestures and his lumpish mannerat table that, though I was ruffled by my rebuff and was casting about for some new gate, Icould not refrain from laughter. I dropped myglass and chuckled forthright. At which he started again ." What the Devil -? ' says he savagely.53Galloping Dickcourse .“ Gad's my life, may a gentleman not pass hismeal in peace, but you must bawl him out ofcomfort?“ Rot me,” says I, opening my eyes, andwith some choler. “ Here's a pretty piece ofinsolence.. And may a gentleman not hug a jestwith himself, but must go forth , forsooth , andsplit himself among the dogs? Stab me," says I,“ my young gentleman , you will neither be merrywith me, nor suffer me to be merry alone.”He stared at me, as though about to retort upon me, but apparently thinking better of his“ I beg your pardon , " said he, but toobluntly for courtesy. “ I was mistook .”• Why, come now, ' says I amiably , “ youmake amends like a man of honour, and I willdo myself the favour of asking you to a glasswith me.”An expression of annoyance beset his features,but he durst not well decline me, and, indeed, Iwas in no spirit for refusal. shifted up mychair within reach, and we jingled our glasses.“ A pint of warm wine," said I genially , “ isthe finest specific for an empty stomach these mild days.”>54The Man from CornwallConsidering that he was then three- parts througha capon, with pasties to boot, here was a prettypoint enough, but he took no notice of the sally.“ True, " he answered, briefly. And findinghim thus so much disposed to conversation Ipushed back my chair, and, lolling in it, sur veyed him with a friendly care . I was nowless than ever at the knowledge of his calling,but I was to make a smart push for it .“Goods, ” says I, smiling broadly, and with an air of intelligence, are sunk most dismal lowthis season .”“ Ah! ” says he, vacantly.Why,” I went on , seeing he kept histongue, “ there was a dozen pieces of hollandsold in London last week, and that of the finest,at no more than four shillings the ell.”“ Ah! ” says he again , and adds, “ Indeed! ”indifferently.“ You may well say that, ” says I, “ but ' t is a fact of my own knowledge. Broadcloth, silkdrugget, and brocades —s'bud, I know not whichlies in the worse case in the markets. Now, inyour own experience," says I, “what pricehave you put upon55Galloping Dick>>“ Why, man ,” says he, interruptingmesharply ,“ what the Devil! Do you take me for a —and there he stopped mighty quick. “ O well, ”says he in another voice, “ yes, yes, I find ' emone as bad as another,” he says.«And black Colchester bays? ” says I.“ Ah, yes, yes, that too, ” says he, nodding:“ Colchester bays, too ."I could scarce hold from laughing at the drollcreature, as he sat waggling his head sagely uponterms he had never so much as heard, and casting restless shots out of his cross - eyes upon me.But I sat grave enough , and looking to him of asudden ,“ But you,” says I, in a tone of inquiry,“ will be no snip , I'll dare swear? ”“ Damme, no! ” says he, flushing in a moment, and then adds, hurriedly, «Well, nonot a snip —no, not quite, that is," and fell tofrowning uncomfortably.“ No," said I cheerfully, “ I took yourmeasure when I first set eyes on you. But>-' t was that put me off in the start.But now ," I says, laughing, " I understand howyou come by that. "your sword>56The Man from Cornwalla>“ Oh, yes, now, of course,” he replied ,echoing me a bewildered laugh of his own.“ Does it pay you well? ” I asked .«Pay? ” he said , stupidly . “ O well,” sayshe, “ tolerably , tolerably ."“ I've had half a mind to it myself,” said I,meditatively. “ In these hard times a man may do very much worse .” He nodded . “ Andwith good honest fare ,” says I, “ and the priceof a flask now and then .” He nodded again ,frowning more than ever . “ And on a particular private service, a guinea from one's master .'He drew up his red head, staring at me haughtily. “ Specially ," I went on, “ for a secret service to carry lettersTo say the truth I had wellnigh forgot thepremier business of my adventure; so tickledwas I to put this egregious fellow upon prickles.But at my last words, and ere the full sentencewas off my lips, he turned of a sudden deathlypale, stuck his hand again to his sword, andtook a fit of shivers .“ Damnation! ” he cried, all in a blaze of fury.He squinted abominably as his eyes rackedme, and one hand crept in a tremor to the cuffaa57Galloping Dickof his jacket. Now, I am a man of speedy wits,as indeed ' t is needful in my trade, and in a flashI was aware that I had come upon some moredesperate affair than I had imagined. Moreover,the real meaning of his appearance there, I know not how, ran suddenly in my head. But I was my own master, in despite of this; and though ,for sure , I felt like whistling, instead , keeping avery demure face, and answering his look withmere surprise, I said: “ What is it? ” said I.“ You ha'n't been robbed? "He glared at me speechless half- risen in hisseat, and occupied in gulping his emotion .“ Faith! ” I said , with a grin , “ an ' youpresent the lady with the letter in a face likethat, I'll warrant you, she shall have a fit, andyou a beating from your master.He gave vent to a snort of relief, as it seemed,and fell back in his chair, pretty limp.“ Ha’ some more wine," says I cheerfully .He gulped down a draught, and the colour raninto his cheeks again. He even looked at mewith a sickly grin.“ I feared,” said he, “ I had forgot the billetdoux ."58The Man from Cornwalla aa“ Ha, ha! ” says I in a manner of raillery ,“ sink me! but you're a fine rascal for a love-sickgentleman. And I'll swear, too, ' tis no less than an assignation.” He nodded, with a miser able kind of wink, and bobbed his nose into thewine, seeming very much pleased with himself.But now I was gotten very big with the notionI had in my head and looked to put it to thetest . Indeed, I miscalled myself a fool in thatthe idea had not taken me earlier, with all thosestirring rumours from the South, where that silly cully of a Monmouth was setting the countryside by the ears. The splashes upon my neighbour's feet and legs lay as thick as a Devon brogue might ha' laid on his tongue, and I couldalmost swear to every mile since he had riddenforth of Tiverton. And with that the shape ofmy new behaviour came to me boldly.“ Look’ee," says I,speaking earnestly. “ Acrossthe main length of this table when I first crossedmy legs under it, I liked the fancy of you; and though ' t was in a fashion of snarling youshowed your teeth at me, why I mind you nonethe worse for a fire- eater."“ Go on ,” said he, regarding me with wonder.59Galloping Dick«Come, then ,” I went on . 6. You're toogood a lad for this fetching and carrying. Your sword brags too loudly for the business. There'sa cut about your face that derides you at it; andyour hair is not the colour of a lackey's periwig.If I was you,” says I, “ sink me, but I'd setup myself for a gentleman of fortune.”“ What would you have me do? Where should I turn for a living?” he asked , lookingamused.“ You talk of living,” says I with a wink.“ But, mark’ee, young fellow , there's also dying.And a man may die with his sword in his fist -the faster the better."“ Well? ” he says, grinning.I bent over, and tapping him on the shoulder,said , very mysteriously, “Come with me," says I. He lifted his brows, interrogating me. " Ohyes,” says I, “ but there's many a good man islike to follow where I am for."“ Where is that? ” says he.Why," says I, in a whisper, “ to the sideof King James III,” says I, “ by the grace of God, King of England and Scotland and Lordof Ireland .”60The Man from Cornwall>>I felt him give a sudden start under my hand,but, taking no notice, I winked at him andnodded.“ Oh! ” he cries, looking close at me, andspeaking in a lower voice, “ So you're for thePrince, are you? ”“ Hush! ” says I, looking about me. «Thisground is not safe.”He followed my looks with a little display oftimidity, and then returned to the contemplation of myself. He inspected me narrowly, and afterwards dropped his eyes, shrugging his shoulders.“ I am no hand with a sword ,” said longer in any doubts. He wascertainly from the seat of the insurrection, andas like as not with important papers. Indeed,his whole bearing was of a man that feared tobe taken. But I pressed him a little closer.“ Ah! ” I cried , feigning to rally him. “ ButI can see you have used a gully upon requirement. Think on it . I'll vow to further you.An' his Sacred Majesty had ten such swords asmine he would be in no needs of whistling formore, and James of York were best a -sporting with his newest doxy.”I wasa61Galloping DickNow, I will acknowledge ' t was my owndefault, for I had put myself all along upon hisown level as a gentleman's footboy; and he, poorman, must perforce take me at my own reckoning. But when he broke out into his harshsatirical laughter, it made me mad.Oh, his new Majesty is in luck,” says he laughing, “ with a sword such as yours at hiscall. And as for James Stuart - Here hefell a-laughing in a loud rasping country fashionthat was ill for me to bear. My temper is ofthe quickest, and, whoever he might be, I was not for suffering the insolence of a dung -fork likehim.“ Faith, then , " said I, starting red , “ sinceyou show such an appreciation of my sword,' t is at your service .'“ Pish, man,” said he, still laughing, “ sitdown. ”But I was fair boiling now, and the thoughtthat he could thus entreat me with such goodhumoured indifference out of a belief that I wasthe poor huckster I had made myself out, made me the more resolute to show my mettle. Irapped my sword out sharply .a62The Man from Cornwall>“ You are pleased, sir,” said I , fiery -red, “ tolaugh at me.”“ Why," says he, with the first twinkle inhis eyes that I had seen, “ and may not a gentleman hug a jest to himself, but must rather go forth among the dogs for his laughter? ”I was a little staggered at his ready use of myown rebuke, but I was equal to him in amoment.

    • True, " I says, “ your jest is your own,

poor though it be. Laugh an' you will . Butdamn me, ” says I, “you shall not squint at me. '>aAt that he turned scarlet himself, and scowlingat me, “ You're an impudent rogue,” says he.Draw ,” says I, and made at him.He whipped out his iron , and was putting itup with a black expression on his phiz, whenall of a sudden a noise of voices and stamping inthe passage interfered between us . His weapon dropped, as indeed did mine also . He staredat the door fearfully, and next at me.myself very comfortable, for, as you are aware,I was then in particular demand at half-a - dozenAssizes.Nor was63Galloping Dicka• What is this? ” he asked , speaking very low.Why,” said I, with a sort of laugh, “ it seems someone has come with a billet- doux forone of us.'sHe took a sudden rush at the window, but onthat instant the door was Aung open and a packetof soldiers broke into the room. My companionturned, sword in hand, and so again did I, notknowing what colour affairs were taking. Butof me they took no heed, for it seems that theyhad full notice of their man and had indeed beenon his heels a matter of two days. And so,while we two stood in great disconcert and irresolution, a young man, somewhere near myown height, and of a very lively cast of face,stepped out of the troop , sword in hand, andconfronted the man from Cornwall.“ Mr. Baverstock,” says he, with a bow, andbringing his hat to his knees, “ I regret that you must consider yourself my prisoner.”The chamber sounded with the clank of spurs,and the doorway filled with dragoons; but myman was as game as a bantam, or rather as abubbly - jock, for he was now the colour of hishair all over .>64The Man from Cornwall“ Prisoner be damned , ” he cried with a sneer,and ran upon the other without more ado.But the Captain, for so I understood him, tooka step back and made play with his point. He stood as cool as a fencing -master, and was morethan the match of my squinting friend, who, forall that he made a smart show, being far gonein passion , soon concluded the affair on his ownaccount. Presently I saw the soldier's rapier bendand glimmer; there was a jerk and a twitch, and Master Red -Head's toasting- fork was flying in theair above my head. In a second the privatesmoved up, and had their prisoner in hand. The thing fell with such despatch that I could not butadmire the ease of its process, but ’ t was as muchthe spunk of the man Baverstock as the skill andnicety of his opponent that took my fancy; and“ Bravo! ” I cried, “ bravo! ”Thereupon the Captain turned , and seemingto observe me for the first time, looked me upand down, and ended with a good-humouredgrin in my face.“ And who the Devil may you be?” sayshe, smiling.“ Rot me, Captain ,” says I, “as to that, think65Galloping Dickof me merely as one that lacks the occasion totry swords with you.”“ As to that, ” he replied, observing me closerand with more interest, “ maybe we shall betterthe chance in good time.”“ Why, yes," says I, on an impulse I couldnot withstand, for the man drew me so. 6. Andhere's to the opportunity ."And with that I filled a glass, and pushing itat him lifted my own to my lips. He eyed measkew , in a fascinating way he had, from underhis bent brows, and then burst into laughter.“ And here, my good sir, is to the opportunity ,” he said .This took me right in the stomach for fellowship. “ And ' fore gad ,” says I a little roughly,“ we'll break a bottle on it .”He tossed off his wine. “ And ' fore gad ,sir , ” says he gaily,And thus it was that I became acquaintedwith Sir Ralph Leybourne. I called for thelandlord and Sir Ralph sat down, but then,seeming to recollect, turned to his prisoner,where he stood gloomily within a ring of thedragoons.awe will."66The Man from Cornwall“ Mr. Baverstock ,” says he, “ I am no thieftaker, nor no spy- catcher neither, and if a gen tleman of good west-country blood shall chooseto set himself up a new sovereign, ' t is nothingagainst his gentility whatever it be to his oath.But an' you will give me your word, you shall stay here, and,” here he swept a graceful bow towards me, “perhaps this gentleman will suffer me a guest and to order for us all.”But Bayerstock, if that was his name, merelygave him a savage look. “ I will give no word ,"said he.Sir Ralph shrugged his shoulders.will, ” he said in another voice; and then to hismen, “ You had better lay in a stock of food foryourselves, and see you hold your prisoner fast,"" As youhe says.When they were gone he turned to me smiling, and, “ It seems,says he, “ that in thehopes of cutting out each other's hearts wemust first grow friends over wine. ”Why not? ” said I stoutly . “ I love a gallant sword , and a passage - at - arms is a sure passageto friendship .”«In this case ' t is the bottle ," he objected,67Galloping Dicka moment“ Bottle or blade," saidI,“I will find someway to your heart, Sir Ralph.”He inquired of me with his eyes forwitha sort of indifferent good- humour.«Letus drink, at least,” said he,“ I'll warrant wewill both make friends with the wine.”I regarded him closely as we drank. Heput back his head and swallowed the liquor at a gulp , winked at me, and then, noting sometangle in his lace, slowly combed it out withhis long white fingers. He was much takenup with this same lace, stroking out his ruffles and preening himself witha fastidioustaste. And then he seemed, at last, to remember me again, and looking at me showedhis teeth.“ Another glass, eh?” he observed.I nodded,and we refilled our glasses.But then again, after he had drunken, hisattention wandered like the eyes ofa lighto'love. He hummeda ribald snatch of song without more consideration of my presence than ifIhad beena boy, and his glance strayed about the But presently returning to himself andfinding me staring at him, says he, ina very1room.68The Man from Cornwall>winning fashion , “ Well,” says he, “ do I findgrace in your sight, O Lord? ”“ Sir Ralph ,” said I, “ you warm my heart.You're the man for me if there's never anotherin the world. As for women, damn ' em ," Isays.At this he was pleased to go off into merriment, rapping his glass upon the table in applause,and throwing back his handsome locks.“ Why here is praise," says this popinjay;“ fie , fie," and laughs immoderately. And then ,Why where is my manners,” he cries, “ tohave sat down to wine without a knowledge ofmy worthy host?“ My name, Sir Ralph," said I, “ is Ryder,at your command, and I pursue the life of agentleman of ease .”“ And a damned good calling," he says heartily. “ And I'll swear you make an excellent living of it. "I looked at him with a suspicious eye, for theturn of his words took me aback; but he regarded me very innocently. And “ You are afriend, then, " he asked , “ of my poor Baverstock,there? ">69Galloping Dick“ Friend!” saysIa,“as much ofa friend asto be drawing upon him on your interruption."“ Why,” he says laughing,“a very propersign of friendship --- as we agreed.''“I cannot abide sour looks,”I said.Aye,” said he,“ he is ofa fanatical design

and so, in sooth, are they all.I have neverclapped eyes on His Gracious Majesty KingJames, butI ama good servant of his, and theKing is the King, and there's an end. While,as for his Grace of Monmouth, Mr. Ryder, heisa fool who should think one should be bornabastard and begottena king.”“ You speak my own sentiments,He rose now, and sweeping off his hat, withhis heels together,“ Mr. Ryder,” he said mockingly, but with no shadow of offence in hisvoice,“ God or the Devil imposes an end topleasant company, and we must now part-Ito my service and you to your ease.”“ Until we meet,”I put in, and returninghis bow with as much magnificence as himself. “ Ah! ” he replied, “ I have an uncommonbad memory. But you must jog it, Ryder, youmust jog it.”" said I. -

70The Man from CornwallaI accompanied him from the inn, and whenwe were got into the open, there was all his littlecompany scattered under the huge elm before thedoorway, and the man Baverstock set somewhatapart in the charge of two dragoons, lookingvery black and disconsolate . I had some pityfor the fellow , for he was by no means whitelivered , and drawing near , gave him a friendlysort of glance. He looked back at me startled ,and with a sudden light in his eyes, and appearedto consider very deeply. Then, keeping a warygaze upon his guards, edged off towards me asnear as he dared . There was a commotion ofchatter under the elm, and this proceeding wentunnoticed . But it was something of a surpriseto me, who at that moment had no guess ofwhat the fellow wanted. But when he wascome close enough, he spoke very hurriedly andin a low voice.“ Sir,” says he, are you a true man? andare you, in truth , for Monmouth? ”“ To the first, yes,” said I promptly , “ andas to the second, why, after that, ' t will need noa66answer. "He made, as though to search me right71Galloping Dick1You—">through with his squint.“I must e'en trustyou," he whispered.“ See here,I am takenupona journey of vast moment. But that's nomatter for myself, if it were not for whatIcarry.I have about me papers that must soon bedragged forth and paraded before James Stuart'seyes. He paused and looked at mevery troubled.I put out my hand, for the man's courage wasagreeable.“I will deliver them,” saysI,“ orburn them."Fora moment more he wavered, and next,witha shifty glance behind him,“I must trustyou,” he says desperately, and witha nervousaction of his fingers began plucking at his longcuffs. But at that instant, and ere more couldpass between us, Sir Ralph's voice broke in likea pistol- shot. “ The Devil take you, Ryder," said heangrily,“ stand aback there, or you andI shallhave to make of that little affaira matter ofbusiness rather than of diversion

and that

mighty soon."Baverstock dropped his hands, aghast, beingthe next second in the clutch of the soldiers

>72The Man from Cornwall+while as for me, this smart command was hardlyto my custom.“ The sooner the better, Sir Ralph,” saidI,as sharp as himself.“ AndI have yet to learnthata gentleman may not have speech ofa gentleman, wherever King James or King Monmouthmay poke in his nose." “ Indeed,” says he,“ Captain Ryder, as youyourself should know, there are bounds to theliberty of the road.”He had given mea title for the first time, andmy renewed suspicion of his meaning, togetherwith the malice of his answer, went direct tomy marrow, and forthrightI drew on him.But he shook his head, laughing again in hisold temper.“ Not now, Captain,” says he,“ but later,maybe, you will give me another chance."For all that my blood was hot,I was fain toadmit he came off with the better grace

but he

bore such an air with him thatI put up mysword withouta word, and watched him inamixture of fury and admiration. The men weremounting in their saddles, and he now joinedthem. Never hadI encountered witha man73Galloping Dick1so much of my own kidney. We were as like in disposition and in quality as two oranges, andupon the High- Toby( to which he wasa soreloss) he would have achieved an admirablepractice. And yetI was like at that time tohave disengaged myself from his life once andfor all, had it not been for what followed immediately. The troop, being now in order, with Baverstock in the thick of it, was wheeling offupon the Bristol Road, Sir Ralph at the head,when, shifting in his saddle, he waved his swordto me merrily.“ To our next meeting, Captain," he cried,“ and prythee, an' thou lovest me, let it fallsoon, and upona fine night anda good road.”“ Damn me,"I shouted, the blood singingofa sudden in my head,“ but you shall find no quarrel with date , nor time, nor circumstances,or hang me fora cutpurse."I heard the sound of his laughter, as thehorses took the corner

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and it was there and

thenI got the resolution.I had no more likingfor Baverstock thanI should spend upon anattorney

save that he was

a fellow of spirit.ButI had acquireda strange fancy for Sir Ralph,74The Man from Cornwalland it maddened me that he should have thusput a mock upon me. Well, the enterprise wascome upon my hands, and I was now for seeingthe end, the more resolutely for his taunt. Mywits are quick enough, and I had the true courseof my policy ere you could hop out of a saddle.So it was that, after a moment's reflection, Icalled for my reckoning, and, climbing Calypso,struck my spurs into her flank and made by thecrossroads for Bristol. I reached the town, somewhere, as I guessed, within an hour of SirRalph's company; but I was not precipitate forthe surprise; I must needs leave a while forstrategy'; and so, putting my mare to her bed,I made my quarters at a little hostelry withinthe heart of the town. ' T was not until themorrow , and near the stroke of six, that I setfoot first within the precincts of the Castle.Colonel Biddulph was a bluff man by reputation, with an open affection for the bottle; but,whether or no he was in wine I know not, Iconfess he met me very roughly indeed. Uponhearing my business, though he was obviouslywell pleased with my information , he used mewith such contumely that I was hard put to it75Galloping Dick.}- What,to keep from his cravat. He cross- questionedme sharply, and whenI stuck to my story, turning on his heels without further words, calledone of his servants to bring Sir Ralph Leybourne.I smiled to myself to imagine his astonishmentupon seeing me there in the Governor's roomand about this business, but indeed upon hisentrance he disordered me with his first shot.“ Hullo!” cries he, quite pet knight- errant in this respectable company!Captain Ryder,” says he, shaking his finger atme,“ ha' you come for the bottleI owe you,that you figure thus boldly in the precincts ofjustice?"“ What, do you know this fellow?” says theGovernor in an amaze.Sir Ralph peers at me roguishly.«Well,sir," said he,“ if my eyes be still in my head,it should bea truculent gentleman whomI metyester morning at the Three Thorns out ofEckhurst.'Ah,” says the Governor.- Well you shalldeal with him, as you know him. He isarogue who is to do us the service of finding thedespatches upon Baverstock fora consideration.a76The Man from CornwallSee him brought to the prisoner, and watch himcarefully . "At this, Sir Ralph seemed a good deal staggered, and a very different change came acrosshis features.“ Hum! ” said he, “ ' t is a dirty business, forwhich I have no stomach .”The Governor motioned me to follow , whichI did in silence, for though I was much mortifiedI held my temper pretty tight, being resolved tosettle the account later, and to my own satisfaction . But Sir Ralph was of too cheerful andlively a nature to be long silent, and as weproceeded to the cells he could not refrain histongue. It was: Hark’ee, Ryder, and I takeleave to say you 're a damned canting rascal,"and then in a high -pitched arrogant voice: «Andkeep a good yard to the fore, Ryder, lest I noseyou for a stinkard; ” with many other littlejibes of the like colour. But all the time I keptmy teeth together, and without ever a sign onmy part we came at last to the dungeon inwhich Baverstock was cast. Flinging open thedoor, Sir Ralph bade me enter, and there Istood in the presence of the man I was to betray.6677Galloping Dick aHe seemed surprised to see me, as he very wellmight be, but there was no time for looks, forSir Ralph curtly ordered me to my job.“ Here'sa friend of yours, Mr. Baverstock,"says he,“ who has takena sudden fancy forKing James, and is come to show it on yourown person.I am very sorry for you,” says he.Baverstock regarded me at the first with wonder, and with growing suspicion, and then witha horrible glare of hate. He uttered an abominable oath, and turned to Sir Ralph, who stoodlooking out of the window.“ Sir Ralph,” he says,“ you are at leastagentleman like myself. Is this the orders that I shall be subject to the familiar insults of avillainous footboy?”“ On the contrary,” said Sir Ralph drily,“Ibelieve him to bea very accomplished highwayman.'“ Sir Ralph,” saysI sharply, forI would putup with this no longer,“ an' this business is tobe done, it must be done in your presence.Ishall be obliged, therefore, for your face."He whipped round quickly, and shot anangry glance at me.781The Man from Cornwall“Nay, my good scoundrel,” he said . " ' Tisnot a job to my stomach. A turnkey shall serve >your turn . "Thereupon he was stamping towards the doorwhen I stopped him.“ Sir Ralph,” says I in another voice, “ there'sneed for you and me to finish this matter atweenus . ' Tis true that the gentleman yonder has about him certain papers of value. I had itfrom himself. Moreover, ' tis certain also thatI know where they are hid .”Baverstock glared at me, and Sir Ralph bithis lip and frowned.«Well? ” he cried impatiently .I laughed. “ Turn the key i' the lock, SirRalph,” says I, “ for the opportunity of ourquarrel is now come, and we must risk nointerception .”He started , and opened his mouth, and then fell to whistling slowly , while a pleasant smilegrew on his face .“ Why, damn me, Ryder," says he, “ whata strange rogue you are , for sure! ” He paused,looking at me thoughtfully . 66 But this is madness , Ryder,” says he, presently.79Galloping Dick“ Come, come, Sir Ralph,” said I; “ let mejog your memory .”He was still staring at me, but seemed to wake up, and broke into a merry laugh . “ What,you would make a rescue! ” he cried .“ I would give you the occasion you haveasked ," said I , bowing.Again he paused, and at last, “ By God!Ryder,” he cried , “ cutpurse, canter, or gentleman of the road, you ' re a man after my ownheart. "“ Here's a pair of us, then ,” said I, smiling.And, “ In truth , I will not deny the company, ” says he; “ but,” he added, “ I have amind to spare you."“ What do you mean? ” I asked.“ Come," he says , “ I have already forgotthis gentleman's hiding- place. Is ' t in his boots,eh? or perchance in his red hair I vow Imisremember, and yet I swear you did yourbusiness. ”For answer I drew my sword on him , but asyet he made no movement.“ My poor Ryder," he said , “ know you not>80The Man from Cornwallweapon at last.athat, should I not finish you myself, there ' s ascore of stout fellows without the door? "6. Pooh! ” said I. " And there's a key tothe door. "Suddenly he turned , and stepping to the gateof that dungeon shot the bolt softly. “ I washmy hands of you,” said he, drawing his own“ But stay , we must not fighthere, or the noise will reach the sentries."He seemed to consider, and then going to thefurther wall, took a key from the bunch he held,and turned it in the lock of a second door whichwas half -hid by the darkness.“ Here's the room for our entertainment,"he said, and following on his heels I found myself of a sudden enveloped in the blackness ofnight.“ We may not fight here,” said I.“ And why not? ” he asked , laughing. “ Weshall meet then on level terms, for I would nottake you at the disadvantage of my skill —-thiefthough you be .”“ Damn you! " I cried angrily, “ what is this gabble about thief? Come, put up yourweapon, an ' you will fight in the dark.">81Galloping DickNow the chamber, as I have said, was of thethickness of a foul night, there being no entrancefor the light, as I discovered afterwards, saveby a little low window looking forth on a deepditch, the which was now involved in the fallof evening: so that neither he nor I mightdiscern between the shadows. I heard him trythe point of his sword upon the stone foor, butby this, and the door being shut, I had lost allcount of his direction; and then he called tome, his voice coming from the further end ofthe dungeon .“ Are you ready, Ryder? ” he said.I gave him the answer in a clear voice, thathe might be at no disadvantage from ignorance of my position, and then moved openly into thecentre of the chamber.- Your spurs clank,” says he. “ You hadbest take ' em off, my friend .”“ An' you hold not your tongue, '“ it will answer my spurs well enough.”He laughed .• Have at you, says I, and made a thrustfor the sound. But he must have broke awayat the moment, for my point took nothing but>says I,وو82The Man from Cornwallаpart of either.empty air, and I was wellnigh my length uponthe floor.For himself, he made no noise, and a silencefell upon the dungeon, broken by little soundsand starts from everywhere, for the wind andthe rain were playing without, and the humannoises within, if there were any, I might not dissever from these signals of the storm . Andso for a time there was no transaction upon theWhat he was at, I know not,nor indeed had I the least inkling of my ownintention, save to watch and to listen in jealouscircumspection for my own person.It was likeno fight upon which I was ever engaged, and Idid not favour the notion of it. For there wasI on my side waiting in the horrid blackness,sword in my sound amidthe uproar of the elements, and expectant to be lanced through the groin any moment by theman, for whom I was so far from having anybitterness but I would gladly have shook handswith him there and then. You must conceiveme, in this notable predicament, and regretting the job with all my heart, while I listened ,straining like a cat at bay. And suddenly afor hand , eager every83Galloping Dickarm .brisker noise to my left set me spinning round,and I struck out fiercely. At the same momentour weapons clinked together, and the next instant his point was stinging in my«Touched, Ryder, touched ," said he merrily;and at that, feeling the prick, and being now gotten to quarters, I fell sharply to the exchangeswith a better stomach.' Twas a Bedlam business, and I can mindthe feel of it to this day. Our swords clinkedand clashed , but according with no rules, owingto the remarkable blackness. At the first hewhistled away , but bye-and -bye, warming tothe work, and, as I suppose, losing something ofhis breath, he gave up, and I heard only now andthen the noise of his hard breathing. We had by this both grown very serious, and I'll warrantthat he wanted blood of me for his pricks asmuch as I demanded it of him. And then, as itfell out, the tip of my blade took his shoulder.He swore under his breath .“ S’death , Ryder," he cried, “ ' t is the wayto my gizzard. Here's for yours," and cameat me more hotly .And this state of affairs ran on for something1184The Man from Cornwallworn.over the half -hour, so that we soon came to feelI felt now that I had the uppermost ofhim, being at once more agile in the darkness,and of sharper ears; whereas he may have been the better swordsman —I never knew. So allof a sudden, and when I was pushing him veryhard and heard the sounds of distress in histhroat, partly, no doubt, because of his wound,I says, “ Sir Ralph , ” says I, “ this thing has gone far enough.”“ Ha! ” cried he, through his panting. “ Ihave you winded , my fine fellow .”Nay,” I replied , “ for my own part I amin no hurry to quit. Yet why should we be atthis labour for man whom I do not reckon at astraw? '“ Fie, Ryder, fie!” says he, “ to go backthus upon a friend! ”Indeed ," said I, “ 't was no friendship buta very common vanity set me on to this; andnow that I am like to worst you, I am in nomind to slay a man for the value of a humour.”“ Worst me!” says he, with a touch of haughtiness; “ my good man , I begin, for thefirst time, to think you have a fear."a85Galloping DickWeBut this was too much for me, and I madeno more effort to reconcile him, but, on thecontrary , beset him lustily . And then beganthe last scene in that remarkable affair.were both spent with fatigue, but he was farthergone than myself, and , besides, had his wound.We were now, according to my guess , somewhere about the middle of the room. Wedirected ourselves by instinct, and ' t was no saying whether the blade would run into the air ,meet steel with steel, or cut and hack upon thebody. I was , myself, picked out with a scoreof bloody places, and, being weak for loss ofblood, was for ending the hellish business withall despatch. And thus, with thrust and parry ,aimed and taken at random , we pushed acrossthe flagstones, he receding slowly from myreach. But presently he seemed to rally, andhis blade came whizzing for my vitals. Erethe point struck I was back a foot, and lungingforward sent in my own iron upon the levelfrom my shoulder. It lit upon his sword, andthen slid up; but the blow was so hot that stillthe point ran on, and the next I was aware hadslipped softly into something, and the hilt was86The Man from Cornwall>fetched back in my hand with a jar. All of asudden there was a dull bang, as a head uponthe wall, and a shrill and horrible scream rangout in that black and fatal chamber. The heavyfall of a body upon the stones ensued , and mysword was jerked from my shaking hand.“ Sir Ralph," I cried, “ Sir Ralph! ” inan alarm , for the shriek in a manner affectedmy nerves, stiff though they be with a roughlife .There was a voice calling upon me feebly ,and suddenly all was quiet. I stooped over hisbody, groping for it in the dark as best I might;and the first thing my fingers happened uponwas my own sword, which, following downward, took me to his face. And at that andwithout further inquiry, I fetched up, with myheart in my mouth, for I knew now the meaning of that sickening scream . And there wasnever a sound from the dead man , but I, finger ing in his breast, felt the pulse of his heart wasgone.I remember that I stood up and gazed stupidlyinto the black vacancy Sir Ralph was dead asa maggot, and there was the topsman for me,87Galloping Dickaaand Baverstock too. This set me thinking, andpresently I ran smartly into the other cell, wherethe fellow himself lay unconcerned in the dusk upon the boards.“ See, here, ” said I, surlily enough, “ itseemed that the price of your liberty is the priceof a life, and as ' t is a habit of mine to pocketwhat I buy, come along and ask no questions; for ' t is your head as well as mine's indanger.”He followed me into the inner cell, where,after a short exploration, we hit upon the littlewindow of which I have spoken , and whichlooked forth low upon a wide ditch half- full ofvery muddy water. There was a bar acrossit, which shook to the touch, and this it appeared we might remove; at least ’ t was our onechance.“ Wrench! ” says I to Baverstock, and we shook together.Whether ' t was our united strength , or thatthe bar was insecure, and the masonry inferior,the room being long out of occupation, I knownot; but the iron gave, and there was our egressready. I squeezed through the narrow hole and88The Man from Cornwalldropped plump into the water, whithermy companion followed; and, scrambling out upon thefarther side, we came presently by devious bye ways upon the meadows. I was in no moodfor talking, as you may believe, neither by reason of my wounds, and the wetting which madethem smart, nor because of the horrid affair ofSir Ralph's death. Indeed, I was more than impatient to be rid of the man that had broughtme into this needless business . And so, whenhe turned to me in a formal fashion and spokeout his thanks, my temper broke.“ Sir ," says he, very stiffly, “ in the nameof King James III ,, I thank you for these servicesto-day. Rest assured that they shall not be forgotten when his Majesty comes to his own.”' T was then I turned on him savagely. " Asfor your King James,” says I, “ or King Byblow, what the Devil is it to me? Let him gohang or go rot, says I. «But damn my soul! ”I says, “ I have just let the life out of the onlyman I could ha' took for friend, and all for a squinting country lout . And, damn your soul!”“ but I will take toll of you for thefact."I says,89Galloping DickWhereat, taking him by the throat, I madehim deliver, for all his oaths and his fury. And a pretty sum I took upon that occasion , as Iremember well, the which bought a box of daintytrinkets for Mrs. Polly.1>1190The Lady's Chamber911 }11 11 i1I1 1IIITHE LADY'S CHAMBERFOR .OR the pother that fell in the “ Blue Boar,'was myselfmuch in default. I had littlebusiness, indeed , to be there at all, and speciallyat that time; for the place was in ill- favour withthe officers, who were used to skip in and skip out as familiar as pigeons in a dovecote. Butmost of all was I to blame for hobanobbing with Old Irons, as notorious for cribs as he was uponthe road, through whose foul-mouthed folly bythis double disadvantage the misadventure cameabout. I take shame on myself to have kepthis company for more than the exchange of acivil greeting, for I never could away with ashabby trade like his. But the fact was I wasrolling on a full tide of liquor, having that even ing made Town from Winchester, with a heavy lining to my pockets, and being buckled up,pretty lively , upon the way to Polly . ' T wasOld Irons that caught me at the “ Blue Boar,"where we sat cracking our bottles and gibbering93Galloping Dickaway ina maudlin sort of fashion for the betterside of two hours. Old Irons was fair set inwine, and must needs come at last to braggingat the pitch of his voice

swearing his was

asmarter blade, and calling upon me in loud oathsto try his mettle

and then

, as if this were toolittle, falling upon me and beslobbering me with affection , styling me his brother-in-arms, andvowing in the next breath that all upon the HighToby save himself were dirty devils, and fit fornothing but to pimp abouta boiling- house. Youmay suppose this stuff was badly to my taste forall the wine thatI had drunk, nor was the landlord any easier,I could see, from the frightenedglances he threw at us.Damme,” saysI at length,man of mouth

or you

' ll find us warming theinside of the Jug.”And with that, and ereI hada notion, thetrick was done, the traps were on us, and there was the landlord, wringing his hands and crying out that ever this shame was come upon hishouse.There was nevera wickeder sinner than OldIrons inside Christendom, or outside for that «close up, you1|194The Lady's Chambermatter>, and I'd warrant his white hairs againstthe best of Bow Street wits. He stood a - staring,and then began to cackle in a friendly, drunkenway. But I waited for no more, and flingingoff the paws from my shoulder, whipped out my sword , and went right through ' em. The poor cullies scattered like a crowd of sparrows, and Iwas forth of the door and away, with Old Ironsshouting foul oaths behind, and a pack of the catchpoles on my heels. I slapped through the .streets at a rare pace, for I am swift on my pegs,but the traps were no cripples neither, and keptclose on my tail; and presently it came across me that if I could not make for my proper quar ters, I was like this time to run myself out. Andon the top of this, being now got into the rearparts of Golden Square, I found myself all on asudden rattling up a blind alley, with one of the dogs near upon me, and nothing but a hedge ofwalls upon either side . And what does I dothen, but without more consideration and on thesudden suggestion , scramble into an open windowof a house that overhung the alley .I was fair mad with myself to have been putto this ignominy, and all for a beggarly crew that95Galloping DickI could ha a ’ driven with a bean- pole; and gentlypulling to the casement, I cursed Old Irons for adaft, racket -pated old scoundrel. But just thenthere was an interruption on my thoughts in alittle frightened cry that came from the interiorof the room. This made me turn , for the Lordknew into what further mischiefI had fallen . Theroom was in darkness save for one feeble light thatwas in the back part. And here, to my exceeding surprise, I perceived that I was come into a bedchamber. But no sooner were my eyes on thebed itself and the disarray of the coverlets, thanthey fell next upon a second discovery , still morederanging. For there, cowering in a corner andwrapped in an elegant sort of nightrail, was ayoung miss, hiding her face, and all ashiver fromterror . This took me off my fury forthright,for I was not the man to scarify a woman so,save now and then in the common course ofbusiness. Moreover, I was also at the momentmightily disconcerted myself for the traps outside, and so without more ado I stepped furtherinto the room, and , " Madam , ” says I, verycourteously, “ I would ask your pardon uponthis trespass, but I am in a sweat for liberty ,96The Lady's Chamber>and I will swear but I mean no harm byyou.”“ Who are you? ” she asked in a tremblingvoice, and getting the clothes about her morewarmly.“ Why,” says I promptly, blowing awayI am a poor rebel against HisMajesty, who is like to be taken and done for atthe hands of an accursed law . ”“ You will be killed? " she said.I nodded. «Dead as mutton ,” I answered.Upon the scaffold? ” she whispers, lookinglike a grampus,60very startled.“ You may call it that,” says I.“ Oh! ” she cries, drawing in her breath andregarding me very pitifully.“ Come, now ," said I, finding there was littletime to be exchanged upon these ceremonies,with the mongrels baying below. «Come,now, there is no manner of hurt in an honestrebel against his King, and if you will but serve me by a generous silence, I will e'en pick myyour house by the proper gates, ascomfortable as a footboy. "There came some voices at that instant fromwithout in the alley, whereat she gave a gasp .way forth of97Galloping Dick“ Oh! they must not take you,” she said eagerly.. “ You must be hid .”• Faith ," I replied, “ I do not ask a privilegeso far, but if I may have the space of your wallsfor passage I will make my own meat at theend, if needs be. ”“ No, no! ” she said, seeming bewildered ,“ they will be clamouring at the door."Now this was likely enough, as I guessed , butwhat course else was before me, with none buta girl's petticoats ' twixt me and Newgate, I wasat a loss to conceive; and as for that, there wasnot even petticoats, as it seemed, in the case.- Well, what am I to do? ” says I, laughing.“ I will help you , ” says she quickly: “ I amthinking. ”Now this piece of consideration in a youngmiss that might well have run out of her senseson my appearance , and screamed down thehouse on me, gave me a mighty tender feeling;but I said nothing at the moment, seeing shewas involved in thought.Then: " You will see, sir ,,” she began in" that I am in a case of someembarrassmenta timid way ,98The Lady's Chamber«Gad! ” said I, interrupting, for I could seethe confusion of her face, and I had clean forgotshe was so bare, “ I disremembered you woreno clothes. I will go ,” ΙI says.“ No, no! ” she protested , making a suddenstep out of her corner as though to stop me.“ But – ” and here again she fell ashamed and was covered with blushes. As yet I had seenlittle of the girl's viznomy, she being obscured inthe shadows, but at this forward motion thelight was flung upon her, and I vow she was apretty wench enough. I should not ha mindedto buss her there and then , but seeing she was insuch a taking, and had used me so kindly, I made shift to ease her delicacy.“ Hark 'ee, miss,” says I , “ I will secure myself within the further room there, and you shallclap the doors upon me as tight as you will.”But: “ No! ” says she again, and in a hastymanner: “ ' Tis my sister- in-law's room , ” saysshe.«Faith! ” said I , laughing, “ I am comeinto a regular plague of sleeping chambers. But if Imust needs, then, keep the room, sink me! but we will have the light out, young madam .'>299Galloping Dick"COAnd then: " No, " again says she, looking atme rather frightened.“ Oh , well,” says I in some impatience, “ ifyou will not trust me so far , in God's name donot trust me at all; and I will take my way outof the window again, with thanks.”“ Nay, nay! ” she said, for that touched herheart. But I will trust you, sir. If you willbut turn your back upon me, in sooth, I shallbe ready ere you may count fifty .'«And so be it, and the Lord bless your prettyface ,” said I, tickled with the child. WhereatI whisked about and stared out of the windowinto the night; and then for a humourous whim,I fell on counting the figures aloud, and as I didso could hear behind me the noise as of a mouserustling among garments. But presently, peeringforth of the casement, I thought I discerned aman upon the further side of the alley, watching me, and with that I dropped quiet and drewback a bit. And thus it was that falling intooblivion of my delicate position , and the bargainwith Miss, I was suddenly startled by the opening of a door behind me, and a new voice uponthe silence; and jumping round I put my handto my sword.aІооThe Lady's ChamberIt was ill-done, being against my compact,but I had the excuse of my hazard , and I thinkshe did not remember it against me in the oddevent that succeeded. For there was my Miss,half -dressed, and showing the white round of hershoulders, fallen back upon the bed with a verypale face; while over against the doorway wasthe newcomer , who first started herself, thenstared , and finally broke into a rippling fit oflaughter, which was very merry to hear.“ Fie! fie! ” says she, “ and you so youngand milk -faced, sister. O you baggage! ” saysshe, laughingMiss was now all ablush from being white,and seemed mightily confused; but seeing howthe matter stood I stepped up myself, and saysI bluntly, “ I'll swear, madam ,” says I, “ thatshe's a vestal for me. "“ Gad! ” she cries, laughing louder, “youkill me, sure. I warrant you make my ribsache. Nay, good sir, pray protest away, Lard,I like you for it. ' Sbud, but ’ t is an easy costume, and I have tried it myself.”But there Miss gets upon her legs again , with her rail clutched to her throat, and, " You misIOIGalloping Dicka60take ,” she says in a lot tone, and all confusion ,“ I—I —this gentleman Slidikınts, you chuck, don't deny it,” criesť other. Faith , I would not go back upon anhonest amour for all the jewels of London. Oh,what a sly hussy; and you all fresh from thecountry! ”This was gone too far for me, seeing Missthere so embarrassed with her colour, and so Ispoke out very civil and very plain .Indeed, madam ,” said I, “ you do us injustice in your suspicion , me in my presumption,and the lady in her modesty . I'll dare swear, ifshe have a lover, ' t is not I. ”Once more she went off laughing.c . Youply a brave tongue ,” she says.about! Well, what is ' t? Lard , givemea prettylie, and I'll forgive you ."“ This gentleman is a rebel,” says Miss eagerly.“ A rebel! ” cried she sharply, and looks me up and down.“ And being beset of the King's officers hastook refuge here by an inadvertence," I put in,bowing.> How it wagsIO2The Lady's Chambercovert.with you.!.She surveyed me with deliberation, and thensmiled. Foy! ” she said, “ ' tis a likely sortof rebel . And you would make my house yourWhy, the times is topsy- turvy whenwe have rebels in a bed-chamber. Well, Mr.Rebel, ” she said , “ sure, you have a fine wayAnd a good tall fellow for thecrows " and looked at me again. But meetingher eyes, somehow, for the life of me I could notrefrain from going off into laughter on the sameinstant as herself. After which she gave me aroguish glance, and “ So ,” said she, “ you havebrought the law to besiege my doors. Well? ”I put my hand to my heart. “ Madam , " saidI, “ I have of an accident put Miss here to theblush, and you to trouble . I think shame on myself, but ’ t was not of purpose or proposal; and if you will allow me I will here take my leave. "- Lard! ” she cries, making an eye at me,“ you are in haste to be quit of us . Sure , sinceyou please Cynthia, we must do our best foryou," and then , tapping Miss upon the cheek,• Fie, sis! ” she says, laughing, “ you have excellent taste, you gixie, you. I shall yet make awoman of you."CC103Galloping Dicka66But Miss drew back with a gesture, and looking all pink and warm like a peony- flower. “ Oh,your ladyship is cruel,” she broke out with tears," you deride me and you shame me. ”T'other did nothing but giggle, being nowtaken in a further fit, and there was me standingstupidly, hat in hand, minding nothing to say,and vexed out of patience with this silly clutter.And in truth what would have come of it all Icannot say , but at that juncture a great rappingupon the outer doors sounded through the house.They are here,” cried Miss suddenly,started out of her tears . Oh, sister.”«“ Foh!” says her ladyship, " and indeed theymay knock at my doors.”• You must open to them, madam ,” said I,they are on the King's warrant."She stamped her foot, and looked imperious;then frowning, encountered my gaze dubiously.«You think 't is necessary? ”I shrugged my shoulders. Madam ," I says," I am mad to be overmuch in your way, and Icrave your pardon. Let me remove“ O fah! ” cried she lightly, ««an' if wemust, well we must. His Majesty has no man6666>104The Lady's Chamberners , I'll warrant we find a way to pass youoff. ' Tis a pity to peril the blood of so handsome a rogue.“ He must be hid ,” cries Miss.Nay,” said I, “ I will serve myself best atlarge, and not pent within some closet, where aman's iron were as much use as a toothpick .”Her ladyship looks at me. s «Sure, we'll swearto you,” she says boldly .Well,” says I slyly, “an' I might withoutundue trespass be established for Mrs. Cynthia's brother, why“ Yes, yes," said the girl eagerly.Her ladyship looked at me, and next at Miss,and her eyebrows fell an instant. But she saidnothing, until presently .“ ' Sbud ,” she cried, clapping her hands, “ Ihave it, sure. Lard, yes, you shall be sis's brother and my husband . Gemini! But I have beenlong without a bed -fellow . "She held me with her roguish eyes, and lookedso damned taking that I was sore put to it not tothrow my arms about her on the spot and take the privilege she proffered with such a gust. But instead , “ Faith , ” said I promptly, “ but the105Galloping Dickme.66character will fit me with all my heart; and ahandsomer wife ' t were hard to find the lengthof Town,” says I.“ Why, for that matter, and the husband, too,is uncommon,” she retorted, smiling at meroundly.There was that in her eyes that drew me, andin a manner they seemed to communicate withBut that passed on the instant, and she waslaughing lightly the next second.“ Lard! ” she cried, “ ' tis a pretty plot. Omy Sol! ” and turns to her sister. • Sis, sis,I'll warrant to save him, the pretty rogue. Heis no lover of thine, child, but mine own unlaw ful husband . Fie, what is come to your cheeks,you jealous minx? ” and pushed her with a laughing contempt.But Miss was looking askew, though I had noeyes for her at the time; and then again the noiseof the traps was repeated, and there was the soundof footsteps in the house.“ Go, go ,” says Mrs. Cynthia.Yes, go ,” says her ladyship, taking me bythe arm and pushing me to the door. «An'you be my husband, ' tis in my chamber you66106The Lady's Chamberamust stay, not Cynthia's.” And laughing sheput me forth and pulled the door upon me.Now, I was in no mind to be there in thedark for long, being indeed much taken nowwith the adventure, which promised better thanI had dared imagine. And, moreover, I wasanxious to witness the end myself, whatever itmight be; and so in a very few minutes, andwhen, after a little, the sound of their chatterwas gone, II opened the door and, creeping outupon the stairway, made for the next floor.Here a noise of voices attracted me to an oakendoor, which shoving back, I came into a veryspacious chamber, lit up as for the reception ofguests . Here was several people in brisk conversation, and my two ladies among ' em, the oneof which, she that was to husband me, was calling in a high voice .“ A highwayman! ” she cries . «Lard , gentlemen, and in my house! Oh, and us with allour jewels! 'And it was upon the echo of this that I en tered and came plump upon Therewas three of the traps, and they all turned sharpat my footsteps.the company.107Galloping Dick66“ What is this fuss? ” says I, in a fine tallvoice, and regarding them all with indignation.Why, here is our man ,” cried one of thetraps, a tall lout of a fellow , Wilkins by name, as I knew very well by sight; and thereupon twoof them, running up, set their hands on me.“ Oons! ” cried I furiously , sending themsprawling. • What the devil! You unmannerly scum! ”“ ' Tis the man himself, your ladyship ,” saidWilkins, and then: “ Richard Ryder,” said he,“ I arrest you in the King's name.”• God a mercy,” broke out her ladyship;«Sir Paul, what is this comedy? ”«Sir Paul! ” cries Wilkins in an amaze .“ ' Tis my husband, sirrah ,” says her ladyship haughtily. ““ Sir Paul Fulton of the Firs,and Custos Rotulorum for the county of Somer>set. "There was never a fellow taken so aback asthis Wilkins. He scratched his rough head, andlooked very puzzled. “ But, your ladyshiphe says, and then stops and rubs his nose . “ ' Tisthe very moral of the man ,” he mutters.“ Odzooks! ” I said , coming forward and108The Lady's Chamberrogue? "> >keeping up my voice very stiff with the best ofthe quality. “ You sottish tenterhook! What,would you lay hands upon a justice! And uponwhat pretence, you hobnailed“ I beg your pardon ," he stammered, “ I_ ";and then whispered to his men. I saw themnod their heads, and they talked together withsome show of excitement. Then again Wilkinsturned to me and “ I am sorry , ” said he gruffly ,“ but you must come with me, for it must beproven of the justices whether you be what youclaim to be."««Why! ” I cried, breaking towards him.“ Damn you, you muckworm, you rascalyou And taking the flat of my swordI was there and then for laying ' em all to the floor and shovelling ' em into the street. But at thather ladyship, who had been feigning a rare flutter, now stepped in, putting up a pretty arm afore66>>me.66Stay, Sir Paul,” says she, and then imperiously to Wilkins, “ you have dared doubt agentleman's own word of what he is, and theword of his wife, that he is her husband. Well,as you be King's officers, you shall have witness,very109Galloping Dickaaas is in your right to ask . Cynthia! ” she calls,and Miss comes up, looking very white andfrightened . “ Who is this? ” says she, pointing at me.“ Sir Paul Fulton,” says the girl with a littlehesitation.“ And my husband? ” says her ladyshipsharply .“ Yes,” says Miss in a low voice.Her ladyship faces the traps. - Well? " shesays.Wilkins looked all confused; and at this pointthe door creaked and opened, and there came insoftly a little old gentleman, dressed up veryprecious, and bedizened with fopperies.Here, I must own, my heart my mouthupon this apparition, for we were like to have thetables turned upon our pretty plot, whoever theDevil he was. But her ladyship was never awhit dismayed.“ Ah!” she said joyously , running up to him,' you are come in the nick of time, Sir Charles.What think you? These rogues will make outthat Sir Paul here is no husband of mine but avillain of a highwayman or some low fellow .was inIIOThe Lady's ChamberIs not>Tell'em, Sir Charles, tell’em , ” she says, clinging to him, “ tell ' em to their faces.this gentleman here Sir Paul, my husband, withwhom I have gone to bed these five years?If Wilkins was took aback before, the little oldgentleman was in even greater disconcert now.He dropped his cane, and next his snuffbox:then he started panting and wheezing, and hiseyes bulged out of his sockets; and he grew akind of purple. Faith, he went though more changes of embarrassment than I could reckonupon paper.Prythee, get your breath, Sir Charles,”cried her ladyship, appealingly , “an' your chest be so bad again. But tell ' em, tell ' em. Lord!I shall die of this insolence .”And then at last the old creature, getting hiswind, says, stammering, “ Odds,” he says,“ yes, your ladyship, Sir Paul, for sure .”“ And is ' t not my husband? ” she says entreating.“ Gadsbobs, of course ," he stutters, “ yourhusband.”“ Swear it to them ,” she urges piteously , andas one all in aa tremble.IIIGalloping Dicknot“ I'll swear it," says he in a fluster.Her ladyship whipped round upon the traps ina splendid bearing, and regarded them haughtily.But that was enough for Wilkins. He hunghis head abashed, and made some sort of amendsin a sulky, terrified way. But I paid him noheed, not so much as if he was dirt, and the threefellows slunk out of the room, with their tails curled under ' em, I assure you . But it wasupon them I bent my attention; ' twas the little old gentleman as tickled me. For therehe was fallen , limp, into a chair, snorting likea pig and mopping of his face, staring the whilefirst at me and then at her ladyship, and some times in a bewildered way at Mrs. Cynthia.Then, when the door had banged upon thefellows, her ladyship bursts out a- laughing.- Lard , Lard! ” she cries, «Sure, I shalldie of it all,” and tapping me on the shoulder,“My* poor Ryder,," she says, “ an' that bewhat they call you, you have a taking presenceand a rare possession . ' Sbud, but you makea handsome husband, and I an admirable wifeto you .”“ Indeed, your ladyship, ” I said, “ I amII2The Lady's Chamber>>sorely beholden to you; and a more elegant display of terrors I ha’n't seen not upon anystage of Town."And then the old boy thrust in, getting hisvoice once more. " O my lady ,” he says," O my dearest charmer, what does this signify? Odds, but I am all amiss; and who isthis fellow? "“ Fellow ," says she, drawing herself upwith an air of great magnificence. “ Faith,Sir Charles, I will have you to speak civillyof my husband, as you yourself have bornewitness. "That put him further about, with the colourrunning in his funny old face. “ Odds, mydear, ” he cried in a wheedling voice, “ whatspirit of devilry is here? What is this tantrum ,ninny kins? "“ Devilry! ” says she, " ninnykins! Sure,an' I was Sir Paul, ' t would not be I that wouldstand by to hear these terms put upon his wife.”Now I had no knowledge of what theremight be between ' em, save that they seemedupon a certain intimacy, and for all that I knewthis might ha' been the real bed - fellow . See113Galloping Dicking her kindness for me, therefore, I was notfor making trouble between ' em, and I cameforward with my best manner.«Hark’ee, Sir Charles,” I says bluntly ," what has fallen ' twixt me and her ladyshipis not for your interference , whoever you maybe. But, an ' you fuss yourself into a heat about it, and maybe with private grounds of your own, understand that if a lady shall do apoor gentleman a great service, ' tis to the creditof her heart, as should be acknowledged the first by one of your years."But upon this he rose in his chair, spluttering.“ My years! ” he squeaked .years! I was born in the year of his GraciousMajesty's Restauration, and there's midwives toprove it. Oons!"- Well,” said I, “ best hold your temper,for even by that you are old enough to havebetter manners than to fly out among ladies.”He fell back, gaping at me, and quite speechless, for he must ha' been sixty if he was one;and her ladyship good- humorously interposed.“ Come,"' she says, “ Lard!would quarrel upon me! But, 's life, I have- Odds! myHow you114The Lady's Chamberus.a mind to sup. Sir Charles, cease your dud geon, and come to supper, you and Sir Paulthere. "The Lord knows I was willing enough, andso, apparently, was Sir Charles, for withoutmore words he scrambled upon his thin shanksand made hastily for the banquet room , wherean elegant treat was laid out and furnished forAnd he was no sooner set at the boardthan he recovered his wits and made play with the victuals with a good spirit. As for me,Lord! I keep still the remembrance of the company , and the viands, very lively . Herladyship was pleased to sit next me, and all thetime was chattering like a nest of magpies,laughing and jesting and plying me with hereyes in a way that warmed me even more thanthe wine. Miss sat t'other side, seeming ratherdemure, and the little old gentleman dividedhimself between gulping down his food and ogling at her ladyship . I was hollow in themidriff myself, and there were good thingsenough about us, and so I was pretty comforta ble at the first. But after a little, and whenwe were well on in wine, it suited her ladyship115Galloping Dick ato givea turn to her tongue that was not to my liking. ' T was that damned Wilkins as hadput it in her head, and the more she pursuedme the shriller the old scarecrow oppositescreamed out his hee- hee- hee, and cackled likea parrot. Now, for all my experience of women, and I have encountered them of allqualities,I am better with' em upon the road,or elsewhere, than thus, ina kind of obligation,and as it were undera bond of gratitude. Andwhat made it worse, was that it had been nomanners to fume and grow surly. But, in truth,she put me out.For says she, archly,“O my dear Ryder,and ha' you killed many in your business?and when Miss leaned over with her ears open,«Faith, sis, I'll swear't isa very wickedfellow."“ Why, no,” saysI foolishly,“ no more than my share." “ Ah, but," says she, “ I know you gentle O you rogue! ” And ere I couldprick up my wits to retort on her, she gavealittle scream, and putting her hands to her face,“O Captain Ryder,” she says, feigning to116)men.1The Lady's Chamberimplore me, “ an ' we meet, you will spare myjewels? ' Slidikins, my dear Ryder, promiseme that." This set me shifting in my seat,but I was at a loss for words; and then sheflew off again in her light-headed fashion .“ Captain dear, " she says eagerly , “ odds me,but you shall learn me the trade. Faith, andI'll learn it; indeed, sis, and I will."' T was not that I minded the knowledge of my calling, for I never have blushed for that;but to be made a mock of before an old mawkin, and with Mrs. Cynthia's face of wonderment opposing me, was a sorry trial for my temper. But I was not to be drawn out, andI passed it off pretty well, for I says, “ Faith,your ladyship ," I says a little roughly, butsmiling, “ I will teach you anything in theworld, and Miss here, and the rather that I'llwarrant with two pretty faces and no ugly dowdies we should not want for decoys.”At that she laughed ( but Miss turned red ) and ,clapping her hands, filled me out more wine." What an admirable husband I have gotten,for sure! ” she cries to Sir Charles, who washee- heeing in his silly fashion .>117Galloping DickAnd,” says I, thinking to mark a scoreupon him, if I might not upon her, “ if youand me should meet with some such rolling oldrogue, as Sir Charles there, in the hiccups, whyI warrant we should set ourselves up for life.”Sir Charles stuttered , being indeed in thehiccups himself, as I saw , but her ladyshiplaughed louder, and being now gotten to herfourth glass, put her hand on mine.“ Lard ,” says she, “ an’ we be not alreadywed, which I have forgot, we'll make a matchof it, Ryder.”I was fairly mellow myself by then, and Ianswered smart enough. “ If your ladyship will,” says I cheerfully , “ faith I'm for thenoose to -morrow .”Old Mawkin gave a little snarling laugh .“ I wonder at you,” he squeaked, “ to hearyou talk so boldly of nooses.“ ' S life , ” said her ladyship sharply, “ andwhy should he not? Mercy! may not myhusband - to -be converse of what he will in thehouse that shall be his? ”" Oons, what mean you? ” asked Mawkin ,with a hiccup, “ aa jest is a jest," he says.>>118The Lady's Chamber“ And a sot is a sot,” she retorted quickly.“ But an ' you keep your wits from the orgy ,you may dance me to church to -morrow; ” andshe sent me such a languishing look as thrilledme to the reins .“ By God, that is so ," I said, all afire; andthen she laid her hand in mine, and, the impulse coming over me sudden, I drew her overwith a movement, and kissed her loudly.“ O , you villain , you," said her ladyship,but she laughed softly and held my hand still.But Sir Charles was gotten upon his legs, allyellow and purple, and his nose gleaming abovethe rest of his face; while Miss was all ofa -tremble.“ Sis,” she cried, “ Sis, shame on you!You would take this jest too far.”Her ladyship only laughed; and then oldMawkins stamps to the door, shaking his fist,and “ You - you are a wanton» he hiccuped," and outhe scrambles without finishing, and with ourlaughter after him. Then there was a momentspause, after which Miss turns and addresses me.“ I know not who you be, sir, nor what beodds - you - you119Galloping Dickayour business. That is between you and yourconscience. But as you lay a claim to be agentleman , you will see ' t is a late hour and thetime for your leaving .”For the life of me I could not say ow ittook me so, for I was never less in the mindto go; but there was that in her bearing andstill more in her eyes that sobered me veryswiftlyT; and all of a sudden I recalled that ' t wasshe had befriended me in the first. With whichI stood slowly on my feet, and “ ' T is true,"says ΙI roughly, but with an air of decision, “ Ihad forgot the hours, and needs but I must bepacking after Sir Charles. But if ' t is in myhand,” said I, looking at both of ' em studiously ,“ to return this pleasant entertainment one day,why here ' s my word for to command me.”“ Fie! Cynthia ," puts in her ladyship sharply, “" you jealous malapert. Out, you shameless baggage, that would rob me of a husband! ”Miss shrank away, very still and white, and her ladyship turns to me, smiling. 6. What! shecried, “ you would take fright at this chittyface? Foh! and I shall be jealous myself.But Lard, yes,” she says, simpering, “ the childI 20The Lady's Chamberis right. My reputation is to lose. You mustnot pepper that with spots. O Lard, no. Butif not to- night it shall be to-morrow, an' it fit.Foh, yes ."I looked at her a moment, and her tumultuous eyes , and then, “ Sink me," I cried, “ tomorrow it shall be.”I scarce know how I came out of the houseand was got to bed, but the next morning I was up betimes and engaged with the affairs of thenight. You must fancy that here was an odd predicament in the which to find myself. Forthe lady herself, I had scarce a doubt but shehad settled a kind of affection upon me, andindeed I was no gallows- bird for looks, thoughthe women were ever the worst element in myfortunes. But what set me pondering was this:that the bargain was composed deep in wine,and that whereas I was now considering of myposition, her slugabed ladyship too might bebiting her fingers at me and laughing all over.For the marriage itself, no doubt I had a mindto it; for 't was a rare chance fallen in my way,such as us devil-may -care gentry would acceptsinging. I would ha' leapt to gather the fruitsI 21Galloping Dick>of our relations, with her a widow, as I conceived, and guineas chinking in from many abroad acre. And if it came to that, I had afancy for her, for she was a woman of mark,with the brand of her beauty as thick on heras her powder. Not but what Polly Scarletthad a neater turn to her shoulders, and a smarterleg to her kirtle. For the matter of that neitherwas as good as Miss's, for I had seen both ofhers pretty plain. Yet her ladyship had an airof gaiety , as it might be, which reminded meof Mrs. Polly, and I'll dare swear, save for theother considerations, there was little to pick between ' em. Still, the adventure , upon myreflections, came out thus: that I would bemarried an' she would have it, and be damnedto Sir Charles and sis also . And having gottenthese convictions, what does I do, but, like afool, gets on Calypso, and rides off to a mewsnear by; whence, striking into the square, Istops before her ladyship's door.When I was come inside, after a parley withthe footboy, I found her ladyship stretchedupon a couch. and seeming very weary andlackadaisical.I 22The Lady's Chamberon!“ O Lord ,” says she, “ 't is my old friend,Ryder. Sure, captain, you are come to makeme merry of your wits, for I be sad enough.”And that was true , for she was pale, as I mightdiscern beneath her colours . I was come in avery high spirit, and as elegant, I ' ll warrant, as Sir Charles himself, saving for the gewgawsabout him, and for all that she was so melancholical I was not to be stayed and started off verysprightly.“ O Lard , Ryder,” says she, “ how you runAnd what is the news of Town? ”“ Why , ” said I, “ there is nothing aboutthe streets, your ladyship, save the runners, and that Sir Charles is fallen into a chagrin.”She laughed soundly at that, and “ yourogue,” she says.“ And ,” I went on, «beside that there isno news save the news that I love you, and that news is old news since last night.”“ What a lover you make! ” she cried , verywell pleased, as I could see.“ Nay , rather,” says I, “ what a husband!“ Husband! ” says she, with a yawn, “ Troth,' t is a silly word.”ور123Galloping Dick6. How you“ ' T was you as spoke it last night,” said Ibluntly.“ O foh! ” says she, “' you have a mostdistressing memory, Ryder.”But I was not to be put off like that, and,having now the fit upon me, I plunged pretty deep into my affections. I wager I gave heras good a story as any of the water-blooded ninnies of the Town, and I vow, too, that she tookit with a rare relish . For she seemed vastlydelighted, and she says, sighing,woo, Ryder! ” she says. “ O my poor Ryder,how you must ha' suffered! Lord, you wouldbelieve I was a chit in my teens, like sis, there ."“ As for teens,” says I, “ you and me aregotten beyond. I would not have a slip likethat for a king's ransom. Give me a fine starkwoman with two valiant and artful eyes in her.”“ O fie ,” she said, feigning to cover her face,' you are a most instant villain .me! And, I warrant, you ha’ loved scores."“ One may dabble in the sex," I said, “ butI have had a passion for none save your ladyship.And I have seen hundreds, but never one tomatch the turn of your shoulders.”How you press124The Lady's Chamber“ I have pretty shoulders,” says she, glancingdown at ' em: and she stretched herself uponthe couch so as her ankles showed beneath theborders of her petticoats.“ Aye,” said I, “ and more! ”“ O foh ,” she says, but her eyes sparkling,“ there be plenty in the Town with betterpoints upon ' em ."Indeed , and there's not,” says I, “ as Iwill prove upon the body of any Huff in London , if he have the ill taste. ” She gave me alook out of her eyes, the which set me off in awhirl. “ Come, ” says I suddenly, “ what'samiss that we should not fetch the parson?“ O Lard ,” she sighed and simpered , “ whatwould the wits of Town say? They wouldrhyme me out of my life . '" And I," I said , «would bleed ' em out oftheirs . "“ What a tongue you wag, for sure,” said she archly . “ I fear, Ryder, you would takeme by storm ."" I would take you, an' thehummed upon us, ” says I.“ How you clatter about this parson! ” saysparson had >125Galloping Dick>>was6. But youshe querulously. “There's better things than church and parson .'Why, as for them ,” I said, “ maybe I donot reckon so much upon them myself.”“ Well? ” says she smiling, holding me and as it were inviting me with her eyes. Whatwas for coming I know not, for my headdizzy, but just then enters, pat upon us, thatnidgett, Sir Charles, tripping over his toastingiron as he comes in.“ What! is ' t you, Sir Charles? ” cries herladyship, while I stood frowning at this spoil sport, and he staring at me. Then ,know my dear Ryder," says she gaily. Faith ,you interrupt us in our bridal rehearsal.”The Mawkin stared at me, blinking his eyes,and then with a snort turned short away andmarched up to her ladyship. I was sufficientlyput about as it was, and was in no temper tostand this; so making a stride after him, I tookhim by the collar and wheeled him round.“ Sir! ” said I tartly, “ you have been in troduced to a gentleman , and for a gentleman to scowl upon a gentleman in any is not after my notion of civility . So that's for you ,” I says.a>case126The Lady's Chamberon“ Odds! ” he cried with his squeak, andlugging at his sword, while the red nosehim stood out more like a door- knob than ever.“ Leave that skewer alone,” says I sharply,“ or must I learn you that ' t is not for a gentleman to draw in the presence of a lady? ”But as he still struggled with his hilt, andstammered and spluttered, as it might be in a fit,I took him by the nape of the neck and shovedhim towards the door.o Odds! ” he says. - Bobs! ” he says.“ Odds! ” says this Mawkin, “ you shall reBut I ran him to the door andfilluped him out into the hall, and then, returning, found her ladyship fair rolling on the couchwith laughter.“ O Ryder, dear! ” she cried, “ you are anuncommon entertainment. Faith, you capturepent this ."my heart. "But here again there was an interposition uponus; for Miss came hastily into the room with abillet for her ladyship.O Gemini! ” cries her ladyship. Foh,what is this! You interrupt us. I want notyour bills. Lord, you should ha' seen my Sir127Galloping Dick>a>Paul with Sir Charles here. Troth , there'scomedy left in life. ” And with that her eyesfell upon the superscription of the letter, andshe gave a start, and sat up quickly .But while I was wondering what this mightmean, for I saw that she was flustered, Misscame up, and “ May I have a word with you,sir? ” she said in a low voice.Certainly,” said I, «and a thousand forsuch a pretty face.”Her lip curled a little , but she made no replyto that, beginning in quite another vein.“ Sir,” she said, “ I know not who or whatyou be, nor whether you be rebel or highwayman; but ' tis best that you should leave thishouse. ”“ What! ” said I, “ and her ladyship therewho is to wed with me? ”She turned her head sharply from me, butthen, coming back again, made as if to speak once more; but at this point her ladyship broke in .“ O Lord, sis,” she cried, “ give me joy.Faith, and you must guess. Who is't, d'yesuppose, save the faithless Malvern, the dearrogue! "128The Lady's Chamberai Why, what is this? ” I asked, for therewas that about her show of excitement that mademe wonder. But she took no heed of me, andwent on crying out in terms of unaccustomedgladness about this “ devoted wretch , ” and this“ dear villain ," and declared that her hair wasall awry , and that she would never be fit moreto receive a chairman.I was not to pass all this in silence, as youmay imagine, and so I broke in sharply: “ Yourladyship- ." said I; but ere I could get twowords out of my mouth, she waved me awaywith a gesture of impatience. “Lard, Ryder,d'ye see that I am busy? I have enough to dobut to mind your tantrums; ' " and fell to rereading of her letter with every demonstrationof delight.And while I stood there for the moment,mortified and dubitative, I heard Miss's voiceagain in my ears . “ Sir,” she says, “ and indeed ' t is urgent that“ Why _ " I cried, turning on her invexation1;; but then something in her viznomy stopped me. “ Well, what is it? " I asked .“ Whatever you be,” she says, “ you haveyou go.”129Galloping Dicksoon.enemies, who will be brought upon you veryAnd you had best escape while there istime. ”“ Oh! ” said I, for now I understood. “ Youmean old Mawkin? ' Tis a treacherous oldhunks, and I will prick him into a few holeswith his own bodkin . ”“ I name no names,,” she says quickly, “ butyou will go? " she urged.“ Damme, no," says I , being now angered atthis general opposition; “ but I will have it outwith her ladyship first, and Hunks too ." Istepped up to her, for the tables were like beingturned upon me all on a sudden. “ Your ladyship ,” says I, “ you ha' treated me ill .”“ O Lard, Ryder,” she cried, stamping her foot with impatience. “ Don't ye hear sis?Get ye back to your highways ere justice over takes ye. "Now this was spoken very brutally, and forall that she had done for me I had not meriteda jibe like this at her hands. My blood was up ,and I answered very plain.“ Hark’ee, your ladyship,” said I, “ I knowwhen a face is welcome. But that's not to the>>a130The Lady's Chamberpoint,” says I; “ for I cannot abide your highmannered whimsies, and I am no petty varlet tobe plucked and tossed aside for sport. Why,says you, . Wewill go to church .' Certainly,'says I, seeing your ladyship’s girdle clips the rarestpiece — and a pair of eyes! To -morrow ,' saysyou. -To -morrow for me,' says I. And, faith ,when it comes to the act, there's no more thana footboy's discharge, or as much ceremony asyou would waste upon your maid . ”At that she looked up from her reading forthe first time, and laughed at me. «Му роогRyder, ” she says, “you ha' been my husbandfor a day, and I am not used to keep ' em longer.Thank God that I did n't divorce ye sooner. ”“Go, sir!” pleaded Miss, at my ears; andshe was right enough, for there was the traps at the door, as I could hear.“ Yes, go , my highwayman,” says t other,indifferently.“ Well," says I grimly, “ an' I be a high wayman, the which I will not deny, damme, Iwill not go empty - handed . One or tother,"says I, looking at ' em, “ make your choice, orI'll have both . "131Galloping Dick- Damn your>Her ladyship laughed , and Miss turned red .“ O , you may have sis,” says her ladyship.“ Only leave me my jewels .”This nettled me further.jewels,” I says, “ I'll have someone forth alongof me, sink me if I don't. ”' T was then that the door opened, and Iturned, thinking the traps were right upon me,but ’ t was only Mawkin, rubbing his fingers andhumming to himself, very much pleased.“ Take Sir Charles,” says her ladyship lightly.And somehow all of a sudden the humour tookme, for I am a man of odd impulses; and, moreover, I recalled that all this had fallen out by reason of his treachery. I slapped my leg.“ By Gad! ” I says, “ and so I will."Mrs. Cynthia cried out aloud, and her ladyship laughed, and old Mawkin struggled; but Itook him by the small of his back and Ainginghim over my arm , made for the door.They will take you,” cries Miss, “they 60will take you .

    • By the way I came in , ” I says, “ by that

way I go forth , and a pest upon all petticoats! ”>132The Lady's Chamber“ Don't ye stay in sis's chamber,” cries outher ladyship, screaming with laughter.But I was out of the room and up the stair way, ere I could hear more. I pulled oldMawkin through the window for all his gambadoes, catched up Calypso ( and my boots ) at themews, and was out and away upon the turnpiketo Uxbridge, ere ever a jannizary was in sight.And ' t was not till I was come under Tyburn Tree that I dropped him off the saddle, whencehe fell with a splash into some muddy pool thatthe stream makes there . But as for me, I gallopedon, feeling, as you may suppose, mighty out ofappetite with women.133

The King's Treasure135

IVTHE KING'S TREASURE' TWAmuch as myWAS the narrowness of my fortunes, asown giddy head, that leagued me in the business of the King's Treasure. Ihave always borne a brain: there was never anadventure to my fist but I measured out itschances; and sometimes 't was taken, thoughagainst all odds, and other times 't was left fora piece of foolhardiness . It was along of mymood. For the matter of that, we gentlemenof the road live no feather -bed lives, and it isour trade to forestall the assaults of Death. Butthis affair went against not only my judgmentbut my will; and I make no doubt that I wouldnot ha' taken up with it, had it not been thatmy pockets were bare, and my head was singingwith wine. Altogether, at the moment, Iceive that the world and I were on pretty livelyterms. But 't was the leanness of my purse asdrew me on. ““Split Split me,,”" says says I to Danny, Ithrowing a crown at him, “ and here's my lastcon137Galloping Dick!coin upon it

and there upon the spot the

bargain was struck. But the next dayI was outof temper with myself.’T was not the greatness of the peril that put me off, forI havenever been stopped bya bloody point in all mydays

but the truth was

, there was nevera rascalof the whole pack of our fellowship thatI wouldcare to join hands with on an emprise of the kind. I was not for couples myself: I keptmyself aloof

and Old Irons and

I wore the bestreputations upon the road, but in very differentways, as you may fancy. Old Irons was asblacka rogue as you may conjecture, being bredup froma lad for cutpurse and wheedler, andentertaining any business as would fetch him in a guinea to break a bottle on. Out of his drinkhe was as cunning as he was ferocious, but inwine you would not match his bravadoes out ofHell. And, bya curious chance, it was thisvery man that directed me to the folly of theadventure.'T was Creech as had the information to startwith, and took it from no lessa person thanTimothy Grubbe himself. Ay, there youare,” says Old Irons to me,“and whod' ye66>138The King's Treasurehe, “66 d ' yesuppose is blind cuckoo enough for to walk intoTimothy's net? Why, you, Dick Ryder,” saysyou and a buffle -head like Creech there."“ As for that," I said, for I was nettled at hissneering, “ I can see a point or two beyondTimothy Grubbe's back, and without ever awink from you.”“ Rip me, ” says he, starting up,think I could not ha' been in the job myself?And I suppose ' t was not Timothy as camewheedling of me with his rat's eyes, and clapping me on the back for a lord, and thrustingforth his tongue upon the sight of guineas that aman of heart might take in a night an' he usedhis weapons briskly. Bah! ” says Old Irons,“ I trust no thief -catcher , nor no go -between , nottill I pull my locks at the topsman.”And this was true enough about TimothyGrubbe, as every man of us knew very well.There was many that owed the Jug and theTree to that mealy -mouthed scoundrel, with hispink eyes and his greasy grin. If ever theDevil came to London Town, it was withTimothy's hide he covered himself. For it washis aim to stand in security somewhere half-way139Galloping Dick111 11' twixt us fellows and the Law, and squeeze theboth

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and but that he had the lives of scores upon his tongue, and was very useful withal at a pinch, both to us on the lay and to the traps,

he would have been hanged or pistolled for hispains long since. But, Devil or none, TimothyGrubbe was nota name to frighten me, nor wasI to be lectured bya sot like Old Irons. AndsoI told him roundly

and then while we were

drinking at the“ Bull's Head,” who shouldcome up but the man himself.He stepped forward to us smartly, as thoughwe were the particular game he was after, and,“ Ho! Ho! Dick Ryder," says he, with thatintolerable grin of his,“ and there's sport ahead,is there, Dick? Pretty goldfinches to nest inyour pockets, eh? So, so, Dick

and you look

full-mettled for business. What?" And hestood there wagging the head upon his wry neck,as though he had fallen from the topsman's cart a while too soon .Old Irons said nothing, for he was mightyquiet when Timothy Grubbe was about


Iwould not keep silence beforea half-hanged,mal- faced mongrel like him.11!1! j!140iThe King's TreasureCC“ And who are you, Timothy Grubbe,” saidI, “ to come athrusting in your nose atween twogentlemen at supper? Does His Majesty giveyou that right along of the privilege to clap poorcullies in the Jug? ”He grinned worse than ever , nodding histwisted head, but shot me an evil look out ofhis narrow eyes.• Ah, here's a wit,” says he. - Here's awit as the ladies of the Court have lost! A fineyoung gentleman , Captain Irons, and a fine cleanjob he made nigh Petersfield last week; and afine entertainment, too , he will make somedayupon Tyburn Tree, with the Ordinary apraying over him, and his heels akicking the air! ’ T willbe a better sight than you ' ll make, CaptainIrons, for all the little matter at Bedford, andColonel Truscott's jade, that died a natural death,in course, last seventh of August. Why, ” says he, “ I have known gentlemen of this kidneynow for twenty years, and I'll warrant I neverput eyes upon a braver figure of a man thanGalloping Dick. This is some nobleman's byblow, surely, Captain Irons, ” says he, addressing him but watching me.141Galloping Dickseat, so“ Now , damn you! ” I cried, getting off mywan' you have not the civility to quit, I'lltake leave to quoit you forth myself.”Old Irons stuck out an arm to hold me, beingturned very white in the gills at the jars uponhimself, but I was scarlet with fury, and I drewa knife on Grubbe.“ Ha! ” says he, not changing his tone, butkeeping his eye warily upon me, and slippingdexterously aside, “ 't is a mettlesome lad . I'llwager him against a shipload of His Majesty'sofficers.” Then, “ Put that down , ” says he inanother voice, very sharp, but still quiet. Ilooked at him, and he burst out laughing. " OOfie, Ryder, " he said, “to take a jest like this!Come, my cock, come; put up that gully anddrink for me to a fine moon to -morrow evening.I'll warrant we all love a moon. ' Tis a finesight to watch the heavens sprinkled with starsand to know that the Lord Almighty is upon Histhrone. ” And chuckling to himself over hisblasphemy, he called up the landlord with somewine.But though I was embarked this business,and that in a kind of fellowship with him , Iupon142The King's Treasurewould see the rogue burst ere I kept him company . And the truth was that I was now maddened to be linked with him, but I durst not goback upon Creech, as I considered coming forthof the tavern; and, moreover, I had myselfdrawn Zacchary Mills into the same excursion,a lad of spirit, with a serviceable weapon and amerry pair of lungs. And so it fell that we madethe venture , as had been agreed, upon the nextevening.The coach was bound for Chatham, with kegsof His Majesty's guineas for the ships there, andfirst I must post down the road early in theafternoon to determine a position for our ambuscade. I reckoned to come up with the escortover Shooter's Hill, some miles this side of Dartford; and, having marked the spot and laid outa rude plan , I rode into Dartford itself, where Ipulled up at the “ Pigeons" for a pint of wine.I had no thought at the first but to wash mythroat and be off, but the day was warm andthe tavern mighty cool and alluring; and there Ifell a - talking with a civil -mannered fellow , thatwas a chandler hard by. He was a comfortableold cock, of an affluent habit, and pretty well to143Galloping Dickahadsung1do, asI suspected. He babbled likea millstream, and, being on easy terms with the landlord, soon drew him also into the conversation

so that ina little there was the three of us discoursing together just as pleasantly as though wein the same quire all our days. MasterNick-and- Froth, who was an affable party, fetchedouta choice bottle for his crony, and, havingtakena fancy to myself, nothing will suit butI must join them. Nor wasI loth, for as yetit was early, and there wasa dusty road' twixtme and our place of assignation. And that,Isuppose, with the good cheer and the undisguisedadmiration of the two old joskins, set me babbling rather plainer than was wise, so that in theend the chandler looks at me inquisitively.- You have seena deal of life,” he says.“ One might wonder, to be curious, what mightbe your trade.”That shut me up ina trice, forI had beentalking of bloody thingsI had seen adventured.“ Ah, yes,” saidI carelessly, forI knew it wasbest to lead' em boldly out of their suspicions, if so be they had already conceived any . " I ha'seena damned sight more evil deeds thanI could144The King's TreasureCC>>«Bah! ” I says,say . But when the Law says • Mum, ' why Isays · Mum, ' too, as in duty bound.'" Oh! ” says the fat chandler brightly. " Areyou an officer? ” he says.I winked. “ Hark'ee, ” said I, “ when silenceis called, there had best be no questions," and Inodded at him meaningly. «But an ' I mightspeak of what my masters would fain leave inoblivion , I could tell tales as would astonish you .Why even to-day says I, and there brokeoff. my tongue wags.”“ We'll ha' some more wine,” says thechandler after a moment, and with extremefriendliness.Well,” said I, for the whim ran into myhead on the moment to set their fat eyes a -goggling, “ if it be another glass, why I will not saybut upon that limit I stop. D’ye understand? I stop ," I said, bringing my foot withthe stamp on the floor. “ His Majesty's busican ill afford to wait upon any man'sthirst. "“ His Majesty's business! ” cried the fatchandler, exchanging a glance with the innkeeper,and opening his;ness145Galloping Dick“His Majesty! ” says I sharply. “ I saidnothing of His Majesty. Must you be puttingwords between a gentleman's teeth? ”“ No, no," says the fat chandler hastily ,“ ' t was my mistake , ” and signed to the landlordto bring another bottle . When it was come, hefilled the glasses, and putone to his lips . “ Well, ”he says, smiling at me amiably, - here's to thesuccess of any business you may have in hand,friend; and I'm sure ' t is of importance."“ Ah! ” says I, after a draught, and shaking myhead sagely, “ you may say that. Why, if ' t werenot for me, that stands here, His Majesty mightbe ten thousand guineas the poorer this night."”The chandler lifted his brows at the landlordagain, and smiled and nodded, as though he would say , “ We are getting to it now .” Ibrought my fist down upon the bench with athump.“ Does any man tell me, ” I says,«that I'mnot the match of a dozen snarling rascals such as may chance to pounce upon His Majesty's coachthis side of Chatham? "• What! ” said the chandler, starting. " Isthere an escort to Chatham to -night? ”a146The King's Treasure>a“ Rot me, " says I, feigning to stare at him stupidly . “ Whose wits are wool-gathering thatyou gabble about Chatham? I know what Iknow , " I says, “ and I can hold my tonguewith any man.· Yes, yes, ” says old Nick -and - Froth soothingly. “ Indeed - , sir , 't is so .You are a verydiscreet gentleman , I ' ll warrant, and a brave one,too; " and the two regarded me with freshesteem and wonder.But I was not disposed to juggle away theafternoon in the society of a pair of sober- sides,and , truth to say , I know not what put me in the humour to fool them so, unless ' t was thewine, which was excellent, and for which they deserved some return . But already I was regretting my piece of sport. Not that I cared twopinches for the simpletons; but ' t is a wise tonguethat keeps the habit of silence . So making them my devours, which on their part were veryrespectful, I left the tavern and rode back to ourtryst at the “ Joiners’ Arms” in the little villageof Lewisham. There I found Creech in a black mood, but Zacchary bubbling with excitement.66 We're on a lunatic job, and we're a pack>147Galloping Dickan oath."your tuneof fools; that's what we are, ” says Creech withAnd with that I knew that he, too ,had been talking with Old Irons.Well,” said I, “ ' t was you put us on to it,Dan, and why in God's name do you changeat this hour of night? ” For itangered me to see him whimpering and maybesetting silly notions aflow in the lad's head.But Zacchary, as it turned out, was gameenough. " Come out of that, Dan , ” he says,laughing. “ Fetch out old Blood-Drinker, andlet's see his temper. Stab us all , Dan, but we'remore than the match of King James's scum .”“ There's sense, ” says I , well enough pleased," and there ' s spirit, too; and the sooner youcome by your own again , the better for us all,Dan .”“ You'll have your belly full soon enough,young fellow ,” says Dan, with a sneer, turningon Zacchary. “ ' T is not the cock that crows theloudest as uses his spurs best . And as for you,Dick Ryder, you know I'm no white liver, and I'll trouble you to take back those words."“ Sink me, Danny, I'll swallow ' em whole,”said I, laughing, “ if ’ t will serve to set you in148The King's Treasureyour stirrups again . " But he looked very nasty ,and so I took him by the arm aside, and,«Look’ee,” I says, “ don't go for to spoil thespirit of Zacchary there. The boy's willing:and there's stuff in him to stop a regiment. And here's the moral of it . Why, an'so be we have been damned fools enough torattle the dice for Timothy Grubbe, why we ' refools, and there ' s no more to say . But what ' sgone is gone, and to curl up with the mullygrubs because the milk is a trifle sour, is neitherto your credit nor to mine. And that's plain, "Isays.He grumbled a little further, but seeing thathe was coming round, I said no more; but thatyoung bantam Zacchary , who was well primedwith drink, must needs put out his jerlås.“ Let me rot for a corpse,” he says, clinkinghis glass, “ but I'd think shame to turn pale aforea small job like this, more especially after twentyyears' service . ' T is not my notion ofbusiness, ”says he, looking very scornfully at Creech.But I saw that Dan was scowling, and the ladwas getting over- ripe with liquor, so I broke inroughly. “ Hold up there, you young slip149Galloping Dickstring ,” I said, “ and let less go in and less comeout at your mouth . ”“ Damme, Dick Ryder," says Zacchary,jumping to his feet. “ I won't take no suchterms from you, for all the fellow you think yourself. No, nor from a cold liver, like Creech ,”he cries, returning again to Dan.“ Sit down, you fool , ” I said sharply . ButCreech was on his legs too, and had his fingerson his pistol, and there was like to be trouble onmy hands. I took Zacchary by the collar andthrew him back into his chair, where he laystruggling with me.Creech was furious. «I'll cut the heart outofyou , " says he. “ You muck -worm , youI'll slit your gizzard , you - ” But this wasmore than I could endure, for Zacchary wasstruggling to be at Creech, and Creech was reaching round me to fall on Zacchary; and all because the one chose to take a fit of temper, andthe other had filled his jacket tighter than wasgood for him .“ Curse you, Dan, ” I said, “ I'm no watchdog to keep two fools from each other's throat.Drop that pistol,” I says, “ and shake yourself150The King's Treasure66together, while I muzzle this bloody -mindedyoung rogue. ' Creech muttered, but let fall hishand, and I pinioned Zacchary with my arms.By Gad,” I said,«but I've a mind to openthat ugly sconce of yours.The Bedlamite I wasto have bestowed a kindness on a numskull thatdoes not know how to behave before his betters!And this your first job of any account, too! ”That seemed to sober him, for he stopped struggling and swearing filthy oaths, and sat sullen inhis chair.When we took the toby, hard upon nineo'clock, the pair were still very surly. But Zacchary's spirits rose presently , for he was buta raw hand with the temper of a boy, and the prospect of the fight scattered his ill-humour. Hesaid little, but whistled busily, forging ahead ofus, as though impatient to be over the hill.Creech, too, was pretty mute, save now andthen for an oath which he spat at his nag whenit stumbled in a rabbit- hole. But when we hadgot to the crest of the hill, and looked downupon the open stretch of land beyond, he pulledin, and says he, with another oath , “ There's amoon out. ”151Galloping Dick >are. “ The better for us to pick' em off, Dan,”Ireturned, laughing at him." What— Oliver? damn Oliver!”1 said Zacchary.“ Let's push forward and come toquarters.”“ Softly, my young cockerel,”I said,“and where the mischief d'ye suppose you'll be findingyour game by this!“ Oh,” says Creech, witha sneer,“ they’ reahiding from Zacchary Mills, that's what theyThey're all afraid of him and his barkers,they are. They know his stomach for blood,they do. We ain't to do nothing, Dick Ryder,but to set down upon our prats and see' em putup their hands and cry for mercy to this fire-eaterhere."“ Hold your tongue, Dan,” saidI angrily,forI could see Zacchary's eyes gleaming.“ Waittill we are finished with the job, and then, if youcome out clear, you can settle your jealousiestogether. I'll not come between you,”I says.“ But there's one road before us now, and that'swhat we must follow.”71A facetious nickname for the moon


, it maybe, ina humour of compliment to the Lord Protector.152The King's TreasureaThere was no further word until we had rodedown into the flat, and come up with the spoton which I had pitched for the sally . The roadhere was bordered upon the one side by a tallhedge with a ditch , and upon t'other by a stripof green marsh1; and a little below this we tookup our stand beneath a clump of elms for rather more than half-an - hour. Zacchary grew veryrestless, but Creech was stolid enough by now,only turning an eye on the moon from time to time and cursing her for a spoil- sport. And Iwill admit that she was an interference, for shewas a full wheel, and the road spread in a white light, twenty paces before us, so clear that theshadows of the trees lay in a dark wavering meshalong it . But if a gentleman of the road must behindered by the impudent accidents of the weather,he had best give up roaming and settle downwith empty pockets afore a mercer's counter. By - and -bye Zacchary bent his ears to the ground.«They're coming," he says, and whippedout his pistols with glee. Sure enough , I couldhear far away a rumbling noise, borne down onthe wind, which blew sharply from the northwest. " I'll reckon to take two on the firstclash , ” says he boastfully.153Galloping Dick“ Stand by there,” says I brusquely, “ and keep your bragging tongue quiet. What wouldyou be up to? ”“ Why, " says Zacchary, “ shan't we marchup and cock our pistols at ' em? ”“ Yes,” " and a shot in the stomach forus all! You fall back, Zacchary Mills, andleave these appointments to me. D' thinkthey will pull up for the likes of your prettysays I, аyeface?»• What shall we do, then? ” he asked anxiously.“ You best just follow me,” I answered, “ andno word or stroke till I give the signal.”And a little after that the coach drew intosight away at the bend of the road . WhereuponI wheeled round and, with Dan on my left andZacchary clinging close to my right, canteredslowly up the highway to meet it . It cameswinging down at a merry pace, and flashed outupon the open swamp into the brilliant moonlight; and just at that we put heels to our nags,and rode forward at a hand-gallop. The coachwas as plain as if it had been midday, and Icould count the heads of the four as sat on the154The King's Treasure”box with the driver. But from the speed atwhich we came up, they could never have sus pected our design. And the first hint of thematter, as well as the first words on the occasion ,came from the coachman, who, seeing as we didnot divide to let him run through, shouted awarning at us. But we took no notice. «Standclose," says I under my breath , and they bothheld in tight till the flanks of our horses grazed and brushed against each other. And then someone rose suddenly upon the box. " What theDevil! ” he cried. • Where are you coming,you drunken fools? ”Now, I know the way of drivers, and havenever met one who was not for saving his horsesan' he could; and sure enough, as I had calculated ,the coachman, seeing how we still rode on abreastfor him, suddenly, and upon instinct, pulled hisleaders across the roadway out upon the greenmarsh . The swiftness of this strategy , whenthey were in full speed, threw the whole teaminto confusion , and they pranced and came back upon their haunches, backing the coach with abump into a puddle of water. But the movement came a second too late for Creech, who,155Galloping Dicksweeping along on my left, swerved out of lineand ran his mare full face upon the strugglingprads. The shock sent ' em all to the ground,and Creech in the thick of the mellay. But Ihad no time to spend upon him then, for at thatmoment I put a shot in the coachman, lest heshould do further mischief, and the next secondthe fusillade began.The first thing I was ware of was a bulletthrough the cuff on my wrist, but by thisZacchary and I had been carried to the rear of the coach, and were using our barkers prettyfreely .. Zacchary knocked over a tall fellowthat was leaning over the top with a blunderbuss,and ere his dangling corpse had time to fall offthe coach, I sent a bullet through his neighbour.I heard , too, the crack of a piece from the otherside, and guessed that Danny was at work. Butthe top was a bad place for a siege, and the King'smen in their fury came rattling down to theground, shouting and priming their weapons asthey came. The first that landed came at mewith a muzzle up, and I, having no shot left forhim, must needs meet him with the cold iron,which was an ugly case for me, if his excitea156The King's Treasurement should leave him any aim. But at thatvery moment down came the clouds upon themoon, and the sky fell thick with darkness. Ihad spurred Calypso to run him down, and just as the blackness spread there was the noise of his barker, and flop she went upon her foreknees, rolling over in the dust. My shoulder came with asmack upon the road, but in a trice I was out ofthe saddle and on my feet, and ere he could draw on me had spitted him like a fowl. Suddenly, to my surprise ( for I thought she wasdone for ) Calypso got to her legs, and with awhinny galloped down the road in a state ofpanic. But this was no time for considerationsof her, and, in truth , I knew she would makefor her old stables; so, gripping my tool, Irushed up to where Zacchary was being hardpressed by three stout fellows, who were keeping at him with point and edge, and driving him step by step into the ditch . As I forward, it ran in my head to wonder where theDevil was Creech, for I had seen nothing of himsince he had fallen in the collision, and hemight be food for maggots by now. But thereand then was the wonder answered , and, indeed,sprang>157Galloping DickI might have guessed it sooner had I not been sooccupied. For there was some ten or so of theescort to start with, and now but four remained,and of the dead I could lay but two to my credit,besides the coachman. Well, just as I pouncedon the nearest man that was swiping at Zacchary, a shot rang out, and slap he goes upon his face, wriggling a little . I turned at that, andthere was Dan, sure enough, the white light ofthe moon, which shone forth again , striking onhis black face, right in the middle of the frightened horses, and popping his pistol on the ribsof the one that had fallen .“ Bravo, Danny! ” says I, and stuck my ironthrough the ribs of Zacchary's second opposite.But thereupon, and while Zacchary was finishingoff the last of ' em, I heard a sound behind meand felt something tingle in my side . Turningabout I came face to face with a sort of officerman by the coach side, with a red cut across hisface, which maybe was some of my own handiwork . The point had slipped through my thigh ,and had I not moved would, doubtless, haveto my midriff. I turned mighty dizzy of a sudden , and I remember that his face went from meCagonea158The King's Treasurein a mist; I had, moreover, a sickly sense ofwobbling on my legs . But by an effort of mymind I recall squaring myself on them, and then,feeling still that I was going, I lunged forward blindly. My point took him somewhere, andhe went back upon his head under the wheels.I myself was carried with a bang against the coach,and leaned there, supporting myself vaguely for amoment, until I grew conscious that it was shifting. Then I drew off somehow, and openedmy eyes. It was the plunging of the scaredhorses that was shaking the coach, and as I looked my gaze fell stupidly upon the fellow under thewheels, who was struggling to rise in a feeble fashion . The horses backed and jumped forward,and the wheel dragged over his neck, and afterthat he stirred no more.Then it seemed to me that there was a longpause. There was a cricket buzzing in my ears,and a flock of sheep came dancing before my eyes,lavolting up and down. But after a time I lookedabout, and there was silence on the night; andthen again someone came running up againstme, and I heard Zacchary's voice, crying in ajubilant tone, “ I ha' killed three, Dick, " saysaa>159Galloping Dickورhe, “ I ha' killed three," slapping me on theshoulder.“ Damn you , ” says I, “ keep your hands offme, you dung- fork ,” and then I burst out laughing.. Zacchary's face was pretty plain by thistime, and I saw him looking at me.“ Ha' they done you? ” he says.6. Where's Creech? says I; but, Lord, Iknew where Creech would be, if he were alive;and there he was, for sure, rifling the pockets ofthe escort. «Give me a hand, ” says I to Zacchary , “there's a bodkin through my kidneys.” “ We finished ' em off ,” he cries. “ I ha'killed three, ” repeating the phrase in a silly braggart way .“ You bloody -minded young tyger,” I says.“ What is it, who killed whom? Stand upthere, Dan , " I says, “ and let's get to business.”“ ' T was my blade as done it all ,” says Zacchary in excitement.· Keep your mouth, you young devil,” I said,for I was fretted with my wound; and I jerkedmy elbow into his side for a reminder. Now, Iwas leaning full heavy upon Zacchary's shoulder,and my face was turned to where Creech was9>a160The King's Treasurestooping among the corpses; when all of an instant the quiet was startled , and Zacchary, loosening his hold on me, slipped to the earth witha groan . I fell with his body, which quiv ered under me, but pulling myself up quicklystared at Creech .6. What the Hell is this? ” said I.Creech met my eyes in bewilderment.«There's no one left,” he says, in a lowvoice.6. Where did that come from? ” said I. Andjust then by way of answer came another crack ,and a bullet passed Creech's nose.My God! ” says he, and whisked about.There was the pause of an instant, and a third report sounded, and Creech staggered , and thenbegan to run with a shambling, tottering gaitaway upon the London road . But I stood staring. And suddenly out of the coach a blackfigure jumped hastily, and running round to thefront, cut loose the dead nag, nd clambereda60aupon the box.“ Hell! ” said I, and forthwith made for thecoach as fast as my shaking legs would let me.The man had gotten the reins in his hand when161Galloping DickwasI reached it; and I had just time to fling myselfat a strap on the rumble, when the team plunged and reared under the whip, and the wheels turning slowly , the coach rolled on sideways for afew paces, and then lumbering upon the hardroad, broke into a canter towards Chatham.Dangling from the leathern strap , Ibumped from point to point along the way,which was like to be bad for my wound, as Isoon discovered from the growing pain in mygroin, and a further seizure of faintness. Andyet it passed my wits how I was to struggle up to the body of the coach, with it in motion and my strength running out on a tide. But as thejob was fairly set for me, I was not the poltroonto give in without a wrestle, and so very slowlyand very feebly I hauled myself up, till my legsdrew off the ground, and my hands clutched therailing of the seat . By good luck my wrists held,and though I felt the muscles shaking like jelly in my arms, I pulled myself higher still, untilat last my nose over the level of myknuckles. And there I hung suspended for atime, with very quick breath, and a deathly sickness in my belly. But I was not yet in extremrose162The King's Treasureaity, despite the ugly circumstances, and gatheringmy spirits for a final essay, I Aung myself as itwere forward into the air with a kick, and camedown with my breast upon the iron rails and therest of me stuck out over the road. After thatit was a small matter by comparison to wriggleacross the seat on to the coach-top, and here forfull five minutes I lay sweating like a horse, andwith the trees and old Oliver and the wholeenvironing landscape rushing round and swayingin my head. But when I picked up my senses,I settled down pretty comfortable in the seat,and began to look about me and consider. Thefirst thing I set eyes upon was the dark figure onthe box, bent over the horses, and though I couldmake out very little, for the moon was soon ingaol again, the turn of his back seemed somehowfamiliar .But when I had time to reflect, it appeared to me that I had run my neck into adamned foolish business . For here was the stage,with all the bloody marks of battle on it, andone dead body at least, as I could perceive, roll ing about on top here was the coach, IΙ say ,running straight for Dartford, with me seatednow,163Galloping Dickthere, like a lamb, for a turn to Tyburn . Just as these considerations turned sharply in mymind, and I was vaguely revolving the chanceof an escape from the quandary I had run intowith so much pains, the man on the box pulled up, and we came to a stop abreast of a patch of wood. The dead fellow that was jumping abouton the roof settled down quietly at that, and Ihad but time to follow his example and lie flatbetween the seats as the moon shone forth oncemore, when the man skipped down lightly from his perch and , coming round the coach , openedthe door. This tickled my curiosity , and byedging myself along I could thrust my nose over the roof and observe his movements. Then itwas for the first time that the full design of this abominable plot was revealed to me; for themoonlight struck clear upon his face, and it was the face of the wrynecked scoundrel, TimothyGrubbe. I had well-nigh screamed out in myrage to discover his double perfidy, but I kept the oaths under and watched him closely. He scrambled into the coach, and reappeared next instant,carrying in his arms a heavy keg, under the burthen of which he staggered across the road into 164The King's Treasureathe brushwood. As soon as this was despatchedhe returns and fetches me out a second, which heproceeds to hide in the same way; and he repeatsthe performance till the coach is empty! By thisit was plain that the vile rogue was concealing the King's treasure, and I could ha’ ripped the vitalsout of him, and would ha' done it then and there,but that I was without a weapon of any kind, andmy wound would barely suffer me to sit up,letalone engage with a sound man like him. But whenhe had mounted the box again and drove off, nodoubt in high glee, I ' ll take oath, weapon or noweapon , that I would have climbed over the roofand choked him from behind if I had had the freemy limbs. Old Irons was right, and tobe mixed up with a stinkard like that was a pieceof folly for a boy. Why, it was for us dolts tosettle the escort, while he sat comfortable in hishole, and never so much as showing a face in thefight! And when that was done, it was a pistolthrough the window for Zacchary and Creechand me, and the King's pictures all for him!This discovery sent me into a black choler, inwhich I would hear no suggestions of prudencefor my own safety. I swore I would be evenuse ofa165Galloping Dickwith him, if only for the blood of Zacchary.But the Devil of it was that here was me beingdriven into Dartford with never a word to sayfor myself. ' T was true, he was in ignorancethat I sat behind him, and this set me thinking,so that presently, what between wrath and thecordial inwards of a silver pocket vial I carried ,I had contrived a manæuvre to pursue when wereached the town. ' T was hazardous, but, theLord knows, I was less like to care for hazardsat that moment than ever in my life .And in this wise we rattled into Dartford ,each of us, I daresay , encumbered with strongemotions. Timothy Grubbe drew up before an inn, and descending from the box rapped loudly at the door. But as for me I took noheed of him after that, for letting myself in agingerly way to the ground upon the other sideI shambled miserably off into the night. Bygood fortune that same afternoon I had remarkedthe office of the Justice, and thither I now mademy way with my best speed . I could not forbear a grin to myself to think of me on an enterprise like this, to confront a Justice in his ownhouse. ' Twas pitch and toss at the best, I166The King's Treasureknew, but I would have the heart out ofTimothy Grubbe somehow . So when I wasgot unto the Justice's door I knocked smartly for admittance , and presently you might ha' seenme hob - anobbing with his worship, him all eyesand mouth, listening to my tale.“ How many was there, did you say? ” sayshe.“ There was six of 'em ," I replied, “ andbloody butchers all, as this rip in my side willwitness.”“ Poor fellow! ” says the Justice kindly,“pour yourself another glass; ” and looks atme out of his mild eyes with interest. «Butyou secured one scoundrel,” he says.“ Secured ,” says I, “ yes; and that's the fact. Left for dead I was, as I'm telling you,and him standing over the poor dead bodies to filch ' em of their purses, when down comes mypistol-butt on his head.”“ You're a lad of mettle,” says he approvingly, “ and this ruffian is safely bestowed inthe coach? ”“ Well,” says I, “ and that ' s where he was;but, as your worship will perceive, I am all ofаW167Galloping Dickwethe rogue;a daze, and maybe the villain will escape hisbonds, if so be your worship will not lay handson him forthright.”“ Ay, that I will,” said he, ' ll despatchand, rising from his chair, hesummoned his men. But at that instant therecame a noisy clatter on the door, and the Justicestared at me. “ Why, who is this at such atime? ” he asked.I knew well enough who it was, for TimothyGrubbe was not the man to leave himselftouched with suspicions, and I had already fathomed his cunning purpose; which, indeed,was why I had forestalled him. His worship went to the door, and presently I heard voicesin the hall, the one of which I distinguishedeasily enough. And after a little, as I sat sip ping my wine, the Justice came back, in a rare perplexity of spirits and mind .• Why, what is this? ” he says.«Hereis a fellow that brings a tale as like your own asmay be, save that ' tis he is the hero. "I started , and regarded him in an amaze .Why, ” says I, “ all was killed but me andthe prisoner, and that I'll swear.” We stared>>168The King's Treasureat each other. • What like of a man? ” Iasked, in a low voice.Why, a small fellow , ” says he, “ with hishead to one side. ”“ My God! ” I cried , feigning an excitement; “ take him, your worship! ' Tis he,don't let him escape.”“ - Why, what's amiss? ” he says, surprised.“ ' T is the man himself,” I said.“ Your prisoner? ” he asked. I nodded.“ O my Lord ,” says the Justice, rubbing hishands, “ this is fine news. He has given himself into our hands. You shall see him, youshall face him, and identify him; ” and he chuckled. I chuckled, too.Why, yes,” I says, “ I'll warrant I'll facehim . " With that, out pops the Justice, andsoon after comes me in again with TimothyGrubbe, sure enough, on his heels.“ Perhaps,” says he, “ you will repeat yourstatement afore this gentleman .”I could scarce keep from roaring with laughter,to see Timothy's white face chapfall so suddenlyat me sitting there confidential.“ Yes, that is the fellow ," I said; “ I'dco>>169Galloping Dick1 1know him amonga hundred by his uglyneck.”“ Do you know who he is?” asked theJustice.“ Well,” saidI dubiously,“ as like as not,he would be that same black ruffian, DickRyder.”“ I've heard of him, I've heard of him,"says the Justice, rubbing his hands again.But Timothy Grubbe was no fool, asI knew very well, and though he had started at thefirst, and had worna frown of embarrassmentupon his face throughout this colloquy, he wascontained enough now when he addressed hisworship.“ Mr. Justice," says he sharply,“I have nonotion what sort of figure you play in this farce,but, whatever it be,I must interfere with youramusement fora moment, and ask you to arrestthis man in the King's name.”His worship stared, and then laugheda little.“O!” says he,“ that's it, is it?”Grubbe turned on him.said, speaking in his harshest voice,“ though theDevil, his father, knows how he comes here,>6. This manܙܕ ',ne170The King's Treasureawas the chief of the gang that attacked androbbed the stage, as I have informed you . ”He said it so firmly , and with such an appearance of authority , that his worship lookedstaggered, and said nothing. It was time forme to put in my famble, if I was to keep mypost; and “ Ah!” says I, very sarcastic, “ and' t is a brave bold tongue you ply for a commoncut- throat. You have it all pat, as one wouldsay. And perhaps you could swear to ' em allin a court of justice? No one better! And Isuppose, my fine fellow , 't is me that's this sameDick Ryder, and ' t is you as had charge of hisMajesty's treasure.”Timothy Grubbe looked at me, with loweredbrows, out of his little red eyes. " I don'tknow what name you put on yourself,” he saidin his rasping voice. “ I have no such intimateacquaintance with gentlemen of the road . ButI do know as I shall have you clapped in prisonere an hour. But why do you delay? ” says he, addressing the Justice imperiously . Ihave already asked you to place this fellow underarrest ."His worship was very much disturbed .60171Galloping Dick“ Softly, softly ,” he says, taking a pinch ofsnuff absently. “ How am II to judge betweenyou? "60, ވ"heyou to“ Judge,” says Timothy with a sneer. “ Iwarrant His Majesty will have a word to sayupon judges when the news of this goose- work reaches his ears."The Justice turned red . “ Why -stammered, and looked at Grubbe with doubt.“ Mr. Justice," I cut in, for I could see thecase was turning against me, “ Iaskseize this man on a charge of highway robberyand murder."Grubbe gave me an ugly smile, as though hehad gotten the best of me now, and I will admit that I was a little dashed myself. “«Butthere is no evidence," says his worship, frowning. “ There is none to speak to the truth ofeither. "And at that word I took a notion that sent theblood spinning in my veins and brought me tomy feet very solemn and certain. I have alwayscome out of difficulties upon the proper side, insome degree by the favour of fortune, but themore, I take it, thanks to my own ingenious wit.172The King's TreasureAnd here was the chance to turn to account anidle humour, which I had till now regardedmore as a piece of reckless folly.“ As to that,” says I slowly, “ there's «,"plenty to speak to my identity, but it is an illhour to fetch 'em from Town.” Timothy Grubbe grinned. " Yet I am loth to keep yourworship in suspense,” I says, “ and myself underso foolish a suspicion, and, faith , we'll e'en putup with a witness or two in Dartford, an ' it likeyour worship .”Timothy shot a sharp glance at me, and the Justice gave a sigh of relief. “ Come," says he more cheerfully , “ that is well; and we'll takethe witnesses at once. 'Indeed,” says I, with my eyes on Grubbe,“ if your worship will but fetch ' em out ofbed, there's an honest chandler by the name of Tyrwhitt, of this town, and the host of thePigeons, ' that knows what my business was this day.”“· Tyrwhitt! ” says the Justice. “ Yes, Iknow him a worthy fellow . We'll have' em both; ” and, opening the door briskly, hegave an order to his men.66173Galloping Dick1 1Timothy scowled, and scratched his chin,with his evil eyes upon me, who sat downagain, indifferent, and finished my wine. ButTimothy said nothing, nor indeed did anythingfurther pass between us three until the return ofthe messengers, when there wasa rap on thedoor, and the Justice stepped across.“ Come in, Tyrwhitt,” he says

come in

,my good man."When the fat chandler was got in, and ere theJustice could say another word, he served my purpose better than I could have foreseen. Forhe gazed about ina stupid, sleepy fashion, lookedvacantly on Grubbe, and then, his eyes droppingon me, he blinked and gavea cry.“ Well, sir,” says the Justice,“ do you knowthis man?”Why, yes,” says the fat chandler, brightening up,“'t is the gentleman as had charge ofHis Majesty's gold to take to Chatham.”Grubbe started aback, and made as though tospeak, but was silent.“ Ha!” says the Justice.“ Now it seems we are getting upon thescent." And thereupon he called in the landlord of the“ Pigeons,” who entered in some174The King's Treasuretrepidation . “ Do you know this man? ” askedthe Justice, now very stiff and formal.Old Nick-and- Froth looked at Grubbe andshook his head, and then, with a glance at me,said in a public whisper to his worship, ' Tisan officer of His Majesty's, upon a secret service,” and nodded mysteriously .“ Oho!” said his worship with a smile.“ Faith, I think we have it now ," and heregarded Timothy sternly . “ I think ,” he says,“ my good highwayman, that the little ease inDartford Compter is the place for you ,” andchuckled as if he had made a jest. But Timothysaid nothing, shifting his small eyes from one toanother viciously .“ What! ” says the innkeeper, “ is this ahighwayman? ” and retreated a step .The Justice nodded in good humour. c . Buthe won't be one much longer, I fear me,” hesays.Faith, ' twas a matter I know much about,”says the fat chandler complacently, “ for me andthis gentleman discussed it over our wine.”“ Ah! ” says the Justice with an approvingglance at me, “ a fine tall fellow that, Tyrwhitt,66175Galloping Dickwhom I commend to your kind hospitality forhis wound's sake.”“ O , I shall be well enough, your worship ,”said I, getting on my feet, “ and I will e'en take the generous offer of my friend here for abandage and another glass.“ And welcome," says the chandler, verywarmly.All the time Timothy Grubbe said nothing,only looking at me with a scowling smile. Hewas a reptile of parts and spirits, was Timothy ,and no doubt he saw there was nothing more tobe said that bout. So he held his tongue; henever was one to waste his time, was Grubbe.But I was not going to part like that. I wouldhave an oath out of him somehow.“ ' T is a pity ,” I said , turning to go, that "the rogues got away with the gold.”Ay, ' t is a pity,” said the Justice.“ I wish ,” says I, “ that I knew where ' t washid — in some patch of wood, maybe. ” The Justice nodded, but Timothy looked up suddenly, a flash of intelligence lit his eyes, and heground his teeth fiercely and muttered, giving me a bloody look. I could not refrain froma>176The King's Treasurelaughing at that. Well,” says I, “ 't is acomfort to know that one rogue at least will takeno share in the plunder.” The Justice laughedtoo, and they all laughed; and upon that I got out of the house, roaring with laughter. For Ihad left Timothy with that news to spend avery discomfortable night.But as for me, I was in high feather, and after patching up my wound, which the chandler'sgood lady tended , and narrating a string ofadventures over a steaming bowl, I crept out ofthe house when all were abed, and , mounting anag which I found in the stables, rode withoutmore ado to the little piece of wood in whichthe gold was hid. I distributed as much as Icould carry in packages about my saddle, andhaving dissembled the rest against a later opportunity, I set out in good spirits; reaching Maidstone early the next day, where I remained inquarters for a week, or may be more.177

The Jug and the Bottle1791VTHE JUG AND THE BOTTLEWAS on the third day of November, in the year1687, His Majesty'sAssizesbeingthen in full session, that I was first clappedinto the Jug. TimothyGrubbeit was thatmanagedit, and a dirtiertrickneverstoodto hisFor I had rode up that morning fromUxbridge, after an absence of three months fromTown, and no sooner am I arrived than thenews reaches me through a crimping-master ofmy acquaintance at the “ Bull's Head , ” that thetraps had their paws on Polly Scarlett, she lyingill in the Ratcliffe Highway. There was nevera tenterhook alive durst put his nose inside the“ Bull's Head ,” where the company was too hotfor a regiment of dragocns; and so they mustneeds find this wayaccount.fetch me forth . Thereport was no Jack o’Lanthorn, neither, forTimothy, as I discovered, had put the beaglesupon her that very day , upon the news communicated by his spies that I was come to Town.181Galloping DickThe Law has no queasy stomach, and willundertake a scurvy job with any; but indeedthere was no suspicion upon Polly, and thecharge upon which they took her was, if youplease , the possession of certain gold guineas withHis Majesty's viznomy upon them. These,they would make out, were a parcel of the King's treasure , the which I had snatched out ofTimothy's own fingers by Dartford . I knew itwas odds but the message was a snare for my feet,for all that I questioned the crimp so closely;but then , I was not for letting the risque hangover Polly . It made me mad to think upon herin Timothy's hands, with his pink eyes a -cocking at her. I was not to be averted by suchscum, whether it was my capture that wasplotted or no; and that very evening, after thefall of dusk, I set forth on foot for the RatcliffeHighway, counterfeited for a sailor, with a stouthanger at my thigh .When I reached the house it was pitch black ,and a light shone forth only from an upper window. Sure enough, there was an officer ostentatiously set upon the doorstep, and keeping asharp watch. I knew that I was like to get1.182The Jug and the Bottlea«anduponlittle by strategy out of Grubbe; it was in a boldfront my only hopes lay; and so up I marched witha rolling gait, and, says I, feigning a drunkenhiccough, «What's agog? ” I says,whose door are you sticking out your elbows? ”The trap gave me a glance, and seeing as Imade for the door, pushed me off with his arm .• The Law is in charge here,” he says shortly .“ Law! ” says I, with a stupid stare.«Law!” and I fell to laughing. «Damn me,what's the old Antick atwixt Jenny Rumboldand me? " for that I knew was the name of apiece in the house.He observed me from head to foot, withoutever a suspicion. “ Get you gone ,contemptuously; “ there's no kissy -winsy for>says he,you here."my own.”“ Damme,” says I, with another hiccough,and fingering for my hanger, but I'm in themind to carve your face after a private pattern ofHe closed with me, but, getting aclutch upon his waist, I threw him, and fell tobattering on the door with the hilt of my weapon,shouting the while as one full of drink . Thatbrought some one from the inside, and in another183Galloping Dickcomer.momentI was in the grip ofa sturdy fellow onthe doorstep, with my other friend handling mefreely from behind.««What the Devil's this?” said the new“ Is this our man, Cockerel?”“ No,” sayst other, puffing for breath

“' tisa scurvy tarpaulin witha libidinous body full ofliquor."“ And that's true,” saysI, lurching against' em, and nodding my head witha foolish smile

and with thatI called“ Jenny” at the top ofmy voice, ina most endearing manner.“ Bah!” said the big officer, who seemed tobe ina superior position,“ push the drunkenfool out."No,” saysI,“ push the drunken fool in,?young fellow.”The catchpolls broke out laughing, seeming to be touched by the humour of my rejoinder, andone of' em gives mea shove that despatched me reeling against the stairway in right earnest. Butpicking myself upI starteda fol- de- rol inaquavering voice, and staggered noisily up thestairs. And all would have gone well, but justasI had gotten to the landing, who should come184The Jug and the Bottlea aout of Polly's room but the arch - janizary himself; who no sooner had set eyes on me than heuttered a thin cackle, and blew a shrill whistlethrough his teeth . To say the truth, I took longer to recognise him in the gloom than heme, or I should have spoiled that game for him;but after that it was too late, and turning I leapeddown the stairs.“ Seize him! ” yelled Grubbe. “ Takehim! ” he clamoured; and the traps met me atthe bottom . I laid one low with my hanger,and I let a hole through a second , seeing which,the third drew off.“ Curse you for a pack of curs,screechedGrubbe, and came tumbling down the stairs upon me behind. He had no weapon , but the force of his weight dismissed me sprawling, and ere I could pull myself up, there was three of ' em sitting upon my body.So there was the curtain down upon that partof the play, and the Jug for me, sure enough.But I should not ha' minded so much had it notbeen for Grubbe, who came about me discharginghis jests with an air of affectionate condolence.It was “ Poor Dick! And that you should have185Galloping Dick60come to this after all Timothy's warnings! ”And it was, Ah, Dick, the Lord abideth Histime to avenge Himself on evil- doers.” Andthen he would turn to his bum -bailies ( Damnthem! ) — and beg them to take care of me, for that I was a fastidious young gentleman of tendernurture, whom His Majesty destined to high promotion. But I said never a word in answer,and kept my lips tight until they had deliveredme in Newgate. I was not going to let Timothy Grubbe raise a sound out of me.There was sorry company in the Jug, but Icould have ordered things tolerably, for it held acracksman or two I knew pretty well by sight;only the next trick the knave played on me was to have me laid in irons and disposed in a solitarycell. It was declared that I was a desperatefellow , and the dubsman told me with a grinthat he had long hoped for the pleasure of myfellowship , and had kept his best set against mycoming. I dare say this was true enough, for there were few parts of the country but I was aswell known as the King himself. Moreover,those that enjoyed the liberties of the Jug wouldhave spread my name; to witness which, it was 186The Jug and the Bottleaa brave reception I got upon my entrance. Butto be chained within a lonely chamber, without even the chance of a diversion, went against mystomach. And the place was foul to boot, andfull of rats.Here I lay for some time, until my case washeard at the Assizes. Now, Grubbe was acunning devil, and I knew that ' t was not of theChatham coach I should hear, seeing that wastoo delicate a business upon which to hazard hisown reputation. But there was plenty againstme without that, and first of all up comes theaffair at Petersfield , with which Grubbe was wellacquainted. And as if that were not enough,they had furbished up a paltry business onHampstead Heath , in the which I was underthe necessity to quiet a noisy fellow with my barker. This, it turns out, if you please, wasno less a personage than a Sheriff of the City.And after that the document wound up with the officer that I had cut down in the Highway; asif the killing of a catchpoll, good Lord, made any difference among respectable people! Still ,though the one case was black against me, andGrubbe, no doubt, had ample private particulars187Galloping Dickof the others, I must face my position with thebest phiz possible. So I laid hold of a gentle man of the law to speak in my defence. Hewas a man in repute for a mighty clever fellow ,and had had much practice at the Assizes these many years. In his earlier days he had hadsharp work under Old Noll, and of late he hadbeen with Bloody Jeffreys in the West. Hewas a grasping, watery -livered creature, with hisfee ever in the tail of his eye; but that was nobar to me, seeing I was just then very comfortable in pocket; and so I bought him with a bagof goldfinches, and sent him off with his pocketsbulging with king's pictures, to digest at hisleisure . I knew it was a bad case for me, andthat fact was plainer upon the morning of thetrial, when I was fetched into Court atween twoturnkeys, and with the darbies still upon mywrist. It seems that they were in a taking lesteven then Dick Ryder should spread his wings!When I was brought in and looked about me,there was the Judge regarding me sourly fromhis bench, and hobanobbing with him stood atall, fat-bellied man, with a white wig and avery scarlet face. This was the cully as was to188The Jug and the Bottlehe was .talk me up the ladder. And with the sight ofthem laughing together I knew 't was odds but Ishould get no fair play that day. But I was notto hoist the white feather on that account, andso I just wagged my head to my man to begin.But instead, up jumps Pot-belly, and starts upona tedious harangue, motioning at me with hisfingers and bowing to the Judge, raising his eyesto the ceiling, and gesticulating like the gross apeI paid little heed myself, being longpast patience after the first ten minutes; butpresently out pops some one from the crowd,and ere I knew it, was swearing away as to whatI had done here, and what coat I wore, andhow his arm was a-bleeding, with other matterof the sort.“ ' T was a bloody deed, my Lord ,” says he,and looks at me fearfully.I knew the oaf now for the rascal of thegentleman I had run through at Petersfield . ( Itwas a flagrant piece of foolishness, for sure , was that Petersfield job: in broad daylight too , andwithin a mile of the town! )“ Do you recognise him? ” asks his Lordship.

a189Galloping Dickhis tongue,“ Yes, my Lord," says the fellow .“ You are sure? ” says his Lordship: “ lookat him . ”The coachman turned a frightened glanceupon me, for he was in a rare panic, and I shothim a black look full of menace. Whether itwas that, or that his wits were out, I know not,but says he, “· No, ” says he.«Come, come,,”' said his Lordship, with afrown, “ you shall not blow hot and cold inthis fashion . Is that the man? ”Whereupon the craven, who was all a - sweatwith terror , lost the hold upon andstammered and stuttered and blinked, and finallyappealed to the Judge to spare him, and to the Almighty to have mercy on him, for that whathe said was the truth , the whole truth , andnothing but the truth .“ Pah! take the fellow down, ” says his Lordship . «Call another witness. ”But if, so far, the fact was in my favour, Iwas not to get off so easily upon other scores;and the chief business of all was the appearanceof the Sheriff I had wounded. The old mawkinhad a voice like a parrot, harsh and high, and>190The Jug and the Bottleserve .delivered his evidence all in one shrill squeak.I will confess that what he said was true enough,and went badly against me; so much so that Ichafed to myself that I had not stuck him, while I was about it . After that I knew it was allover with me, unless my little lawyer could He had sat very still, making notes uponhis papers industriously, and asking a question or so pretty sharply at times. And indeed , it wasludicrous to see the pair of ' em, for he, likeť other, was fat, only small, and bald under hiswig; and the two kept jumping up and downopposite one another, as if ’ t was a game of seesaw . But by degrees his face began to lengthen,and he shook his head over his shoulder to someone behind; and at that, and seeing the casegathering against me, I slipped my temper, forhe had done little enough for his money.So, “ Damn you," I bawled to him, “ speak up, you little beer-keg, you! ” At which hewent scarlet, and there was a laugh in the Court.But the Judge scowled, and I was hustled by the turnkeys.And then, when at last it fell to him to speak,a mighty poor figure he made. He ranted like a191Galloping DickRoundhead. If you were to believe him, I wasa low-spirited cur enough, that had no thought but to keep his mother in bread and his wife ingarters . ' Twas a marvel that he did not attachhalf a score of gaping brats upon me.According to him I was a half - starved sort of snip, astook my meals in a boiling- house, and was as regular for church as a girl in her teens. Hepursued these silly lies so long and with suchsatisfaction that I could endure him no further.“ Gag that fat fool,”" says I , “ for an' thetopsman must have me he may have me andwelcome, but I'll meet him after my own fashion ,and not with the character of a poltroon .”There was little more to be said after that.And soon the Judge got to his feet, and sayshe: “ Prisoner at the bar, have you any reasonto urge why I should not pass sentence uponyou? "66My lord ,” says I, speaking very loftily ,“ an' I had gotten a lawyer with a proper tonguein his mouth, and some brains to his skull, andan' it had not been for yonder sour- featuredSheriff, this honourable Court might ha' cometo a different resolution . But seeing as things192The Jug and the Bottleare thus, why pass your sentence, and bedamned,” says I.Thereat he puts on a little black cap , andturns to me with a solemn Anabaptist face. ButI was not behind him at that, and so smackupon my head goes my own hat, and I surveyedhim with as long and mopish a countenance ashimself. And at the conclusion of his discourseI marched off as jaunty as you may wish, atweenmy guards. There was never a Judge on HisMajesty's bench as could get a tremor out of Dick Ryder.Well, there was I now laid in the Jug again ,in my little -ease of a cell, and scarce a fortnight ' twixt me and Tyburn . And first, youmust know, they had me watched very sharply,for Grubbe had whispered in their ears that Iwas a devil that would break out of hell.the dubsman told me this in excuse for harsherusage, for he was decent enough out of his office,and entertained an admiration for me.Grubbe much at fault, for it was not in mymind to rest in my dungeon convenient to JackKetch , and I vow that I would have burst theirvery walls and disported myself openly in London>' T wasNor was193Galloping DickaTown, had I gotten the liberty of my limbs.For that again I owed Timothy a grudge, andI was not the man to forget a black debt, not if Ihad to wait a twelvemonth . But I will admitthat my plight took a dark colour, with me inchains, and never a soul, not even Polly, permitted in my cell. It was plain that theywould hold me if they could. But, Lord, ' t isbefore obstacles that a man's heart rises, and ifI was to be daunted by the raw circumstances ofmy peril , I should ha' given up the road, in amanner of tongue, ere ever I took to it. Sowith that I considered very deeply, taking counselin my hold. I had many friends outside Newgate, if I could but exchange messages; and presently I thought upon a plan, which was nosooner conceived than forthwith I started to putit into execution . And first I must deliberate onmy behaviour, for upon that all hung. Whatdoes I do then but in the first few days after mysentence break out into paroxysms of fury whenever the gaoler poked his nose over the doorway?I roared like a bull at him, rattling my ironsfuriously and flinging my body upon the stonestill you would have thought that all the devils194The Jug and the Bottlecorner.>were collected out of Christendom in that oneThe gaoler himself, with whom I hadbeen upon terms previously, took affright at me,and not without reason, for I threw my handsin his face when he entered with my food ,grinding my teeth at him till the edges cracked .' T was small wonder soon that I got the nameof being a bedlam: the appreciation of deathhaving, as they said, robbed me of my senses.And then it came about that not one of themwould venture into the dungeon. Lord, it fairlysplit me to see ' em run when I charged at the doorway. But this was a piece of my policy,for I guessed very well what would happen;and sure enough, after this had gone forward for a couple of days, in marched the Ordinary for to quiet me with the consolations of religion , bythe Governor's command. He entered in atrembling state , his knees giving as he came, butI sat sullen in my corner with never a word ora sign, till he was arrived nearly abreast of me,leaving the door open for fight, and the dubsmen all agog with the expectation of an uproar.“ My son ," says the Ordinary in a quakingvoice, seeing I kept calm , and inspired , maybe,195Galloping Dickaby this, it is my duty to prepare you for yourappearance before your Maker."At that I gave vent to a yell and brought mychains with a crash upon the floor, sending himat the same time a devilish look . He withdrewat top speed; but fearing, I suppose, that Imight make a rush for them, the turnkeys bangedthe door, and there was his reverence all alonewith me. His face betrayed the most abjectconsternation, and he turned white even to hisred nose. Whereupon I could hold my laughterno longer, and broke out into a fit of merriment.This seemed to encourage him a little , for,still keeping his distance, he addressed me: “ Iam glad,” says he, to see that you keep upyour spirits, my poor fellow , in these heavycircumstances ."Spirits! ” says I, scowling at him, “ Ihave had enough of spirits, damn them! Take' em away!” I yelled, and fell to cursing. Hemade no sign, but still remained in the cornernear the door, in a fresh fit of shivering. Butthat was not in my scheme; and so, feigningto come out of my seizure , I turned to him ina tremulous imploring fashion ." I6. An' you be196The Jug and the Bottle>>a man of God, " I bleated, “ and the Ministerof His Divine mercy, rid me of these Devils,reverend sir. "This put a new face on him at once, and histune changed with alacrity. “ Why , certainly,certainly, my good man,” says he, comingtowards me briskly . “ ' Tis the function ofus servants of the Almighty to discharge suchduties to the unfortunate . What ails you? ”I groaned , and then, taking him greedily bythe hand, whispered, “ ' Tis the spirits of the murdered as haunt me, your reverence.”By this he was completely in control of him self, and took out his snuff-box quite pompously.“ Yes, yes,” says he, tapping it, “ Itis true .For they that have the blood of their fellowcreatures upon them, how shall they escape the damnation of Hell? ” and he regarded mecomplacently.He was a tall, thin fellow , with an ancientwig that sat awry upon him, and a face blotchedand bubuckled with drinking. His arms andshanks were long and bony, and seemed ever in his way, so that you took the impression thathe had more than his share of them; he looked197Galloping Dick>for all the world like a dragon - fly in liquor.He stretched his ungainly carcase on the floor,and doubling up his knees, snuffed with a satisfied air. I groaned again .“ If you have shed blood,” observes theOrdinary, " blood shall be exacted of you, and «,after death, to burn in the fires of Gehenna.Thus doth the Holy Writ imply. The tearsof a sinner avail not, for though in God is ourrefuge, yet shall not the Judge of all do right? 'He wiped his nose with his fingers, and lookedat me.“ But if I repent," said I humbly, “ theAlmighty will pardon me? ”The Ordinary smiled in a superior way, and dusted his legs. Undoubtedly , ” he returned ,o there is a chance for such as truly repentthem of their iniquities, but who testifieth tothe sincerity of that repentance, seeing that weare but dust and ashes? Moreover I wouldask you to observe that it is more comfortableto feel that the Lord takes vengeance upon themthat break His commandments, as He rewardsthem that keep them. Thirdly, ” says he,“ whom He loveth He chasteneth .”198The Jug and the BottleNow by this I had perceived that the Ordinary was somewhat gone in liquor, havingprimed himself, as I imagine, for our encounter;but it was no odds to me in what condition Ifound him, provided I could make a tool ofhim. And this I seemed likely to achieve, forwhen he left me, it was with the most politemessages of religion and a promise to see meagain that evening for the further administrationof sacred comforts. From the word, too ,which I had of the gaoler, he took credit, Ifound , for having tamed me.“ I have exorcised him ,” said he to thedubsman . " There's nothing like the consolations of the Church to exorcise the evil spirit.”And he stalked about the Yard among the prisoners, holding his head high .Things now fell out as I had plotted, for,sure enough, the Ordinary made his appearancein the evening with a mouth full of admonitionsand prayers. He was now deeper than everin wine, having, as I supposed, spent the better part of the day in celebrating his spiritualtriumph . He wore a great air of patronage,and was extremely affable, standing with his199Galloping Dicklean legs well apart, in order for to keep his feet,and poking a bent forefinger at me to emphasisehis instructions.“ Ryder,” says he, “ I fear that you are arogue, a devilish rogue. By the tokens of thelaw, discovered in His Gracious Majesty's Courts,you have taken the blood of man, and whososheddeth man's blood by man shall his blood beshed. There is a solemn word for your comfortable consideration . When I am gone, and,my orisons discharged, I am retired to the innocent sleep of a child, think upon it with tearsand sighs and bitter mortifyings of the spirit.For the Almighty has appointed unto Him ministers of His Wrath , the which shall exact of youthe penalty to the uttermost farthing .” Whereathe hiccoughed, and incautiously changing theposition of his feet, sat down upon the floor very suddenly. “ Ryder,” says he, proceeding still solemnly , and without any appearance of having discovered his collapse, “ I warn you, as a priestof the Church, to flee from the wrath to come.What is man but as the grass that to-day is andto - morrow is burned in the oven? Yea, whatis he, but as the flame of a candle that is blown>200The Jug and the Bottle>out with a breath? And I will put it thus untoyou,for your surer edification . Firstly, there isthe sin of Lasciviousness, the which deservesreprobation . Verily it has its reward. Secondly,to divide our discourse into heads, there is thesin of Drunkenness. The drunkard shall notinherit the kingdom of God. Mark that, yethat look upon the wine when it is red .Thirdly, there is also the sin of Covetousness,the which even princes commit. And finally, topass over the several cardinal vices, which at thismoment have slipped my memory, there is thesin of Murder. ”He spoke the word as it were with a sort ofbellow, and contemplated me sternly, his bibulous eyes, a little asquint, resting weakly on myface. But whether ' t was the dramatic pause hemade that was too long for his wits, or that hewas tired of the matter, he resumed presentlywithout seeming to remember upon what he had been talking. “ Ryder,” says he, “ the ale in this Jug is admirable, but the wine is swipes fora tender stomach ," and at once fell to chucklingin delight of his jest.And that's true , your reverence,” said I,201Galloping Dick1«as I can bear witness. 'Tis hard that a manwho is picked out for death may not so much asbowse a pint of good wine to warm his heartagainst the rope. ” 'He nodded approvingly , and we condoled inquite an affectionate manner; the which set himpresently smacking his lips over the rare flasks hehad drunk in former times, more particularly inthe company of Jerry Starbottle.• Aye,” says he, “ that was an excellentyear, Ryder: a better I have no wish to spend.There was Hack, and Higgins, and old JeremyStarbottle, all rode to the Tree that year. Ah,there was king's pictures and to spare, lad!Faith , there was more of Stand and Deliver 'in those days in a week than the whole squadronof you might venture in a twelvemonth nowadays,” and he sighed over the recollection.It was in my plan to set his tongue blabbing,the more so as I desired to be upon terms with him; and so I listened very humbly, thoughHack and Higgins were none so mighty, norJerry Starbottle neither. Indeed the tales ofthese gentry have suffered undue enlargement.But I said no word about that, merely shakinga1120211The Jug and the Bottlemy - Ah yes,head along of him, and saying,those must ha' been gay days. We are a poorcompany in their comparison.”“ Poor!” says the Ordinary with spirit.6. You say well. A parcel of scarecrows, set tofrighten crows that's what the pad is now;and seemed very bitter about it .In fine, we got very well acquainted, for theOrdinary was glad to pay me frequent visits,the other tenants of the Jug being little to his>>taste .“ There was never a scurvier company in theYard ,” he explained. “ ' T is full of none butcommon canters and divers, rude fellowship fora man of parts; and scarce a golden roundleamong them . ”There was the rub; and, indeed, it was asmuch the entertainment I made for him as thelove of my society as fetched him so often to seeFor I was in no lack of money, and wouldconstantly have him in a pint of warm ale, the which he drank with tender regard.“ Ryder,” says he, “ I have taken a liking toyou. You are no common file, like the riff - raffoutside; and damme, but if you must wear hemp,me.203Galloping Dickyou shall wear it likea proper gentleman withthe very best offices at your service.”He wasa rare sodden rogue was the Rev. Josiah Phipps - for that was his name: - andmingled piety with liquor and oaths faster thanany manI have encountered. For the most parthe was drunken, when he alternated betweenadesire to prove me damned and the whim ofrecounting famous exploits on the road. Butwhen he was sober he worea solemn face, androared Hell at me, as he had been in the pulpit.There was nevera man so deeply damned as me, according to him, with his firstlies, and hislastlies, and his flow of quotation from theScriptures. And verilyI believe the cully wasin earnest, for there were two parts of him, so to speak: one crapulous and roystering, andtother imposed by traditions and long usageupon his fleshly habit. But there were times,too, when he was neither drunk nor pious, atwhich he would talk shrewdly of the affairs ofState and the conditions of the Government.Not thatI careda groat for them, but it was tomy profit to encourage him intoa lively friendship for me, which is ever best achieved by the1204The Jug and the Bottleman.fortuitous discussions that pass between man andAnd then, again, he would sometimesfall very low -spirited and comment upon hisown affairs with the utmost frankness.“ I should ha' been a Dean , not to say aBishop, Ryder,” he would say; “ I would havefilled the place sonorously . I'll warrant I have a good voice, as you may witness, and there bepeople that have come miles to listen to my discourses to the condemned. I have a stingingsmack in my sentences . I have made old Jerryhimself heave with fear. ' Tis all in the accumulation, as it were . I pile my emotions ina pyramid. Each phrase hath an edge: it bites.I have seen the eyes goggling out of the whole condemned pew at my fulminations. And tothink,” he went on with a change of note,“ that I am but Prisoner - Ordinary to a noise of gallows-birds! I that might have had beauxand wits and fine ladies trembling afore me.' T is the papistical leanings of His Majesty thatare at fault.” And with a sigh he would bury his nose in the tankard .But all the same I made way with him, as heacknowledged. “ I will admit, Ryder, ” said205Galloping Dickhe at another time and in his most sentimentalmood,«howbeitI wear the cloth, and am,beyond doubt, ofa much superior state, thatIam sincerely honoured by your friendship.Starbottle was well enough, but Starbottle, between cronies, wasa rough-mannered tyke, withno gracious instincts. He had no more civilitythana bear, had Jerry."And nowI come to the time when, my plotbeing ripe,I must makea push for liberty. Itwasa hazardous course, andI could not promise myself success, but ' t was better to take all thehazards in the world than to be carted meeklyoff to Tyburn. Thus it was upon the night afore the day appointed for the ladder that the Ordinary, entering my cell very sober abouteight o'clock, found me witha doleful mouth." Ah, Ryder," he says, shaking his head,“'t isa long journey anda short shrift for youto-morrow

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” and, being in that humour, proceeded to enliven me with pictures of the ven geance of the Almighty and of the baseness ofthe malefactor.Of courseI listened very anxiously, and whenhe had finished,I says,“ Your reverence,"I1a.206The Jug and the Bottlesays, “ if a man must die, ' t is wisdom that heshould die with his belly comfortable. For thewhich consideration let us be merry to -night.”“ Merry! ” he cried, lifting up his hands,“ a soul so nigh its Maker is more meet forprayers and fastings; and then, his ownstomach getting the uppermost, “ yet I would not refuse any legitimate consolations of the fleshto a human being, more particularly as thespirit oftentimes cedeth out of the very weaknessof the body.” And this was the last Autter therags of his calling made, for when the wine wasfetched , he sat down to it with a relish, andgrew garrulous, as was his wont. " ' T is apity, Ryder,” says he meditatively, and cockingan eye at his glass, “ to see a handsome roguesuch as you be predestined to a cruel end .have seen many go to the Tree with few compunctions, and even with a sigh of content to be quit of their dirty company. But you,manner, warm my heart. ' Tis grievous thatyou should fall upon so evil a fate , and you withsuch a fine, buxom career before you. But itcomes, for the main part, of our bringing up , ”he says; “ I have a philosophy by which Iin a207Galloping Dickcontemn no man.166hold in private, and which teaches me not to This world runs so zig - zag;' t is like a bolting horse. No sooner are thereins in your fingers but you are flung upon yournose and left with a bloody coxcomb on the roadway. We suffer the hazard of brokenbottles, out of which the wine is spilled onevery corner. Vessels, Ryder, ” he added sententiously , “ fashioned , some for honour, andsome for dishonour; and that is the way myeyes look upon life . ”Rip me,” said I, “ ' t is an excellent view,your reverence, which is tobeen Dick Ryder and I Prisoner - Ordinary , Ishould be stuffing the creases out of my stomachto - morrow evening, and you would be swingingand creaking ' tween the crows and the frogs.”“ No doubt," agreed the Ordinary, a littleuneasily , and filled his glass again. “ Youwill understand me, Ryder,” he went on," when I confess to you that the topsmandraws me strangely. I love him. ' Tis likea lodestone to see him with the noose in hisfingers, looping and festooning and twining it so delicately beneath the black gallows. Lord,that had you say ,1!a208The Jug and the Bottlehow many times have I stood by, performingthe sacred offices of my high calling for theadvantage of poor souls as was oozing out ofkicking flesh . ” Here he smiled and seemedto recall the occasions with unctuous affection ,but suddenly resumed: “ But there is somethingfurther to my nature , the which confounds me.With this delight is entertained a strong repulsion,very antagonistic. My belly has retched atthe sight of the Triple Beam, which all thewhile my eyes devoured with appetite. Explain that for me, Ryder, an' you may.”“ Rot me,” said with a laugh, “ but ' t is acheerful conversation you would pursue. Damnthe topsman, and here's to a merry meeting! ”The Ordinary lifted his glass and drank . “ Ilike you, Ryder,” he said, with enthusiasm .“ There is nothing mealy-mouthed about you.You make a rare companion to a bottle. Theage of drinkers is gone out; but Starbottle and Iwere notorious in the Yard . A paunch of theright sort had Jerry .”“ Ah," I put in again , “ this age is degenerate , and that's gospel."The Ordinary rubbed his nose . «Rotten ,"209Galloping Dicksays he with decision, “ all rotten, saving onlyyourself, Ryder, which is a rare exception ."Now all this time I had taken little part in theconversation , being content for his tongue to wag,and still plying him with liquor. But presently,as his blood warmed, he grew louder and lessdeliberate in his words, and began to oscillatebetween his usual extremes of religion and gossip.Whereupon, seeing that my opportunity wasarrived, I suddenly took my main step . For inthe midst of his reminiscences of the hanging ofCaptain Crayes, I dashed my glass down hastilywith my manacled hands.«The Devil take us! ” I cried, “ but herewe are guzzling verjuice when we should befloating an occasion in good liquor."The Ordinary looked at me, drunkenly.«True,” he said . “ You have not treated mewell, Ryder. The wine is damned bad, as Ilive."“ And the more fool I,” says I, “ whenthere is a gross of generous burgundy a -waitingfor me in the cellars of the · Bull's Head, ' in thetrust of Master Shackleton ."I regarded him anxiously, for Shackleton's>210The Jug and the Bottlewas a name he must have known very well, andthe “ Bull's Head ” would have aroused the suspicions of a common dungfork. But he wasnobly primed , and there was never a sign in hiscountenance save the marks of drink in his rollingeyes.“ ' S blood! ” says he, “ we will drink itall .”I shook my head. 6 How shall it befetched? ” I asks him dolorously.The Ordinary paused. “ I will charge myown person with the job ,” he said .“ But it will not be delivered to you,” saidI. The Ordinary was too drunken to considerthis difficulty, and so said nothing. Wait,"says I, feigning a thought.«If your reverenceis willing for the mission, why I think we may compass it .”says I,“ How so? ” says he eagerly .“ If your reverence," “ will proceedthe · Bull's Head ' and offer a message to thelandlord , I have no doubt it may be managed.And this is what you shall say, namely, a demand for a dozen of Captain Ryder's rare oldburgundy, set by for occasions, and Captain2IIGalloping Dick6 >1iRyder's lamentations, but he would drink atoast to the lads at the Pack Horse ' to- morrowan' he had not other business with His Majesty.' T is a civil farewell to 'em . ”The Ordinary got upon his legs . “ I willdischarge it at once,” he said with a hiccough.“ Do not forget the terms,” says I, “ or thelandlord , as like as not, will send you packing, ”and I repeated them slowly a second time. TheOrdinary solemnly repeated them after me, andthen, shambling to the door, was gone.I wager ' t was an uncomfortable hour I expended upon his leaving, for it was odds but hewould forget his mission , or that Shackletonwould not understand, or that, maybe, he wouldbe stopped by an over - zealous turnkey . There fore it was with great satisfaction that I heardhim return; and in he comes with a rush , hislong legs flying, and a parcel of bottles underhis arms.“ They keep a close watch upon you to -night,my poor Ryder," he says, " but I have explained unto the jigger -dubbers as we must spendthe evening together for spiritual consolation and advice," and he cackled with laughter.212The Jug and the Bottle>>first.”But at the sight of the bottles I was well-nighlosing my head for the first time, and , paying noheed to him, “ Let me have ' em ,” says Ieagerly.The Ordinary drew himself up and put afinger to his nose. “ Softly , softly, Captain ,"said he, “ 'tis my privilege as the superior andyour ghostly comforter to make the experimentSo saying, he sat down upon the floora long way from me, and deliberately selecting abottle knocked the neck off it with extraordinaryneatness . At this my heart was in my mouthfor a moment, but the next second I knew' t was all right, for tipping the edges against hislips the Ordinary drank and gurgled as he drank.This done, he jerked himself towards me, saying:“ ' Tis a rare vintage, my Ryder, and I cannotconceive how my stomach abided those swipes.”I clutched the bottles from him one by one ,leaving him to his swilling, and examined themcarefully, feigning to observe the marks; but soonan alarm took me, for what I was in search ofwas not there.«Bah!” says I, " the knave has fobbed youoff. This is not his best.”213Galloping Dick66>The Ordinary stared. “ ' T is well enough,"said he, “ and there's half a dozen morewithout."Why, fetch ' em in ,” cried I, with new hope, “ maybe ' t is the tap I love."The Ordinary, stimulated thereby, obeyedwithout a word;; and no sooner was the firstbottle in my hands than I saw at once that Shackleton had taken my meaning, and I'llwarrant I laid it by with a mighty cheerful feeling in my heart heart.. And with that I turned ,smiling,, to the Ordinary, and gave him ahealth , to which he responded with drunkengravity.Then befell a scene the recollection of whicheven now makes me merry . For I was myselfin a lively mood, now that things were assuredfor me, and the Ordinary, heated with thedrink he had already swallowed , and gloatingupon the good liquor, soared beyond his previous behaviour in the extravagance of his meanderings. He had not a spark of humour in hisbody, but was as serious as a Judge.“ You will wonder, Ryder,” says he, seatedvery comfortable, “ why I, who was ordained214The Jug and the Bottlestate .for great things, am come to this deplorableFemales, my lad, cracks, cockatrices, fora start, and an uncommon devotion to thebottle, the which, it is pleasing to consider , Ihave now conquered."“ Well, here's another glass on it ,” said I,with a laugh.The Ordinary dipped his beak like a didapper.“ ' Tis a sore pity you are bound for Hell- fire,Ryder,"” he said ,; “ but so ' t is -- where theirworms dieth not a parlous state , lamentable,indeed, for a Christian to contemplate .”“ Does your reverence mark me out for Satan? " I asked whimsically .He rolled his eyes, and shook his head lugubriously. “ Undoubtedly, you are chosen for burning, Ryder,” he declared. " I havegiven your case careful and prayerful thought.But the mercy of God which endureth for everwill be void before an addicted sinner like yourself. The Devil has hardened your heart, ashe hardened the heart of Pharaoh , and of oldClinch, that was hanged in chains at Hamp stead in 1673. He was a rare one, was Clinch;a prettier hand at a job I never met. I have215Galloping Dickknown him to take two thousand guineas in aday between here and Portsmouth ."“ I ha' done better myself,” says I, for I wastired of this laudation of parties like Clinch and Starbottle; “ I have took ten thousand in anhour or so .”The Ordinary turns his eyes on me. - Forthe which you have lost your immortal soul,”he said solemnly. “ Bethink you, Ryder, howlittle a thing is life. Rather lay up for yourselftreasure in Heaven, where neither moth norrust doth corrupt, and where thieves do notbreak in and steal . The advice, maybe, comeslate , seeing that your hours are numbered; but,as I have not had the honour of your acquaintance previously, I have lacked the opportunityto put you upon the narrow way that leadethto life. ”>“ Odamn preaching," says I; “ let usdrink. ”The Ordinary smiled. 6. What I like aboutyou, Ryder,” he says, “ is your generous hand.You must have heaped up riches. ' T was apretty business, yours; and all to fall into thehands of a wench . "216The Jug and the BottleoraI was angry>But I would not take that from him, as I lethim know. “ Leave talking of Polly ,” I criedangrily, irons or no irons, I'll knap yourugly nose off.”“ You are too hot, Ryder, " says he, edgingaway drunkenly; “ I meant no offence. Faith,I mean nothing but well by you, in proofwhereof I will drink to neat turn -off tomorrow . ” He drank at his words, and thoughI could not forbear laughing.“ O well,” I says, “ I'll join you there. "“ That's well,” he says. «Friends shouldnot quarrel, specially as their fellowship mustbe so soon determined ,” and smacked his lips.Lord , Ryder,” says he, gazing at the ceiling,“ you ' re but a young hand, smart for your age,no doubt, but lacking the master's cunning.There was that job at Petersfield , now Clinchwould never have undertook that, nor Starbottleneither. ' T was your impetuosity misled you.For my part I should ha' waited for the fall ofdark , catched ' em up three leagues t other side,nicked ' em in the forest, and then, as comfortable as you like, I should ha'had ' emunder my pistols, with never a star to witness217Galloping Dick!1 and wooden ears to hear. ' T would ha' beenas easy as dismembering a pint of wine.”He was now fair set upon his hobby, and Iknew that he would not be drawn from thewine so long as he could fist a bottle . But Iwas minded to get to work, and be quit of theoaf, and so, says I, “ Your reverence will perceive that the sands of my life run out, and thenight is far spent. An' it suit you, sure, I willengage for the remainder in watch and prayer,lest I enter into temptation .”At the sound of this he pulled up and surveyed me with solemnity. “ Aye,” says he,Ryder, fall to your prayers, for thou shalt be hanged as high as Haman afore breakfast.”«Leave me, then ," says I, " and take thosepipkins with you, for what has a poor devil likeme to do with mortal pleasures? "True,” he stutters. 6. There's no furtheruse in them for you, and as ' t is a pity to despise the kindly creatures of God, I will e'en put up with them myself.”So saying, and hugging the remnant of the dozen to his breast, he staggered to the door,which, being unlocked from without, was once218The Jug and the Bottleamore closed upon me. You may imagine thatit was not long before I had forth my particularAlask , and fetched out of its inwards a sharp fileand a short whittle. With the former I set towork forthwith , and after three hours' hardlabour had eaten well through the irons . Afterwhich, concealing the knife about me, IΙ lay backand slept sound.I was awoke about sunrise by the coming of thedubsman who, with a few rough words of con dolence, bade me to prepare for the cart. Thiswas easy done, and presently I was taken forthby his mates, one of whom ventured to rally me upon my fortunes in ugly terms. I would havetaken the brute a clout under his jaw, if I had notbeen restrained by considerations of prudence.As it was, all I did was of a sudden to go downupon my knees and plead for his pardon . The turnkeys grinned, and the same fellow was forlifting me up with his foot, when in comes theOrdinary, looking the most dismal ruffian imagine in the three kingdoms, but his eyes verydetermined and business - like.“ Hold, Roper,” says he, sharply; " youwould forget yourself; ” and then to me, “ I ama >ayou can219Galloping Dickglad, Ryder, to perceive that you are come toa resigned and dutiful spirit on this day of reckoning.”I rolled my eyes, and murmured some hocuspocus to myself, with my nose to the ceiling,and the Ordinary, looking edified, tooka pinchof snuff. But after thatI was pushed along, andcame next into the open, wherea great crowdwas collected. At the sight of me there wassome noise, and then what doesI do but suddenly flops upon my knees again.“ Your reverence,I would wish to pray,"1>saysI.“ Back thereW,” cried the Ordinary, waving hisarm authoritatively, and gesticulating to my shepherds to stop. There wasa roar from the crowd,and then there fella hush, for't was scarce theconduct that had been looked for in me. ThenI was gotten into the cart, with the Ordinary byme, and we set forth ata doleful pace for the Uxbridge Road. Down I pops on my kneesonce more.“I would ask mercy,” says I.His reverence stareda little, but quickly composing himself,“ Aye, you have need ofmercy,he says, and lifts his own hands to Heaven.>220The Jug and the BottleNow this proved diverting to the escort, ofwhom the self - same Sheriff that had witnessedagainst me rode near by on a white horse . ButI let ' em laugh, for I swore under my breath to visit them with a surprise presently. ’ T was arare piece of fun to them, no doubt, that DickRyder was turned puritan, and Shackleton's lads,too, must have stared. For, by that same token ,when we were at length off Soho, to the accompaniment of many groans and cheers, and a greatconcourse of people, I saw , sure enough, thatShackleton had took my meaning, for there wasa string of ' em in accordance with my signal ,outside the “ Pack Horse.” Here once again Ifell upon my knees, and this time the Ordinary,who was being carried away by his growing passion, as we neared the Tree, fell with me, callingprayers aloud. And just then, glintingout of the tail of my eye ΙI caught sight of Timothy Grubbe, all in a grin by the roadway. Thatsomehow put the rowels in me, and with a swift movement of my arms I loosened the darbies uponmy wrists and legs, and flinging them off with aclank into the cart, whipped out the gully andwith a bound was over the edge and into theout his221Galloping DickaaAgreatroad , leaving the poor Ordinary upside down,with his long legs kicking in the air like a beetlefallen upon his back. The act fell with suchsuddenness that it took them all by surprise, butat the cry that was raised the escort reined in withsome confusion. Once upon his legs, however,Galloping Dick was a match for any escort, and sending the nearest off his nag with a knock in thebelly , I merely sent the steel in a flying stab atmy old friend , the Sheriff, and was through thering ere ever they might lift a weapon .roar broke from the assembly, but the ranks gaveway upon the Soho side, as I ran through fulltilt. “ Bravo, Dick! ” cries someone, and withthat a shout goes up, Bravo, Dick! "all round. Shackleton's lads carved out a lane forme smartly enough, and ere the escort could pierce the crowd I was through the “ Pack Horse ” andout upon a private back -alley , as I knew, in the twinkling of an eye.And that, as it chanced, was the method ofmy escape, which was for long notorious in thecountry, and concerning which many erroneoustales have been in circulation .a and ’ t was222Of a Meeting at Fulham122311 1VIOF A MEETING AT FULHAMITT has many times fallen to my good fortune,in the exercise of my calling, to have encountered persons of high distinction, picked outfor cynosures of the public gaze , and markedand predestined to fill a great part in the historyof our times. There was his lordship the Earlof Shaftesbury , for one, a minister of the Cabal,and a cock of the same to boot; and I couldtell , if I were minded, of my rencounter withBloody Jeffreys and of the trick I put upon him;while, to name no other, I had a mighty queeradventure in communion with that foul toad, TitusOates, whom I afterwards rejoiced to see cryingcarrots and turnips, with all London looking on.But the sally that best pleased my whimsey, andfor which, as it chanced, I was the least forearmed, was taken in more exalted company, andwhen I was yet green on the pad. And I hereset my pen to the narrative with the more zest,that the man himself being now dead, and passed225Galloping Dickinto sour disrepute, I am enabled to show himforth for what he was a sovereign fellow ,incomparable with a whole line of high -nosedDutchmen . Maybe ' t was owing to my veryrawness that the adventure took so full a flavourand developed so roundly, for, an' my wits had been a trifle brisker at the outset, and my eyeshad plied smarter than my tongue, I might ha'stopped short, for sure, upon the threshold of theemprise . But, as it was, I slipped into the affairwith a plunge, and for all the world like any child;and this was how it came about.Having gotten into bad odour on the NorthRoad , and finding the catchpolls peppered aboutthe posting -stages, I rode into London Townupon the seventh of May, fat as to my pockets,and distended , maybe, with a complacent satisfaction in myself. I was fair bubbling over thebrim with spirits , and ready for to cock a barkingiron on General Monk himself, if so be the occasion should throw me across him. But after aday or so with other roysterers, and my temperstill serving, out I flung upon an excursion towards Fulham, for mere devilment, and by nomeans because my purse was running low.226Of a Meeting at Fulham>Half-way to the village, and within cry of atavern , I fell across a carriage, dancing along ata rare pace, richly caparisoned, and with outriders and all the privileges of wealth . Nothingmust suit me, then, but, like a lusty young fool,to drive myself square across the way, and de spatch the horses back upon their prats, settingthe coachman and the post-boys yelling in a terrified hubbub. And next I popped up to thewindow, and thrusting my pistol forward, exactedmy demands of the occupant, ere even he guessedwhat was afoot. He was mightily perturbedand also inordinately savage , being, as I couldperceive, a nobleman of mark upon his road tosome great house. To be rum -padded ,, there,almost within the precincts of London , and upona night of stark moonlight, and with a score ofpeople within call, could not have been greatlyto his taste . But his fuming served him little,for I relieved him of what he had, which, to saythe truth, was not very much. I cared not adoit for that, but the distemper with which hetook his predicament, together with my owngiddy head, set me in a roar, and there I stood in the road , watching the carriage roll away ,227Galloping Dickwith my hands to my hips , cackling out of merelevity . And with that, quite suddenly, a voice says, very quietly, by my side: “ Faith, ' t wasa very neat piece of horsemanship; and I've nowish to see a better. ”You may guess that I started about sharpenough, and there in the moonlight, but hisface obscured in the shadow, was a man astrideof a big Flanders mare, coolly contemplating thevanishing coach .6. Who the Devil may you be? ” says I, verymuch set aback by this apparition .His gaze shifted to me slowly, and he regardedme with a silent scrutiny. I was in the full light,and he might observe every galoon and buckleBut, calm as he was, I was not tobe browbeat by his insolence, and so, withoutfurther ado , I jogged the nag a step nearer, and,said I , drawing my sword, —“ Well,” I says, you have observed myhorsemanship with so much commendation, sinkme, but you shall have the occasion to test my passados also .”“ Nay, nay ,”" he says, laughing a little. “" ButI will take the rest of your reputation on trust,aupon me.- an '228Of a Meeting at Fulhamand without any test. ' Tis a point with me totrespass on no man's profession .”I looked at him in suspicion, but somehowthe humour of his voice assuaged me. Yet Iwas not going to yield upon the impulse to anycurrent stranger that might punch a hole throughme when my back was turned; and so I camestill a step nearer, and “ So be you are honest,"said I, “ let us see old Oliver on your face.”There was a moment's hesitation ere hemoved, but then with another gentle laugh tohimself, he pulled round his mare, and backedinto the moonlight, where he remained, regarding me with a catching smile . He was a manof good presence, somewhere about fifty, as Iconjectured, with a big nether lip, and a swarthyface, harsh - featured , yet moulded in good -humour.I liked the fancy of him, and seeing that I wasin a merry mood myself, was for hobanobbingwith him at once, an' he would. But ere Icould speak he interposed on my observation ofhim.“ I trust,” says he demurely, “ that you willkeep me no longer under old Oliver's scrutinythan may serve your need, for, to say the truth ,229Galloping DickI hold something of a traditional antipathy to thename.”->“ Zooks! ” I cried laughing, “ and so doIa scurvy , ranting Anabaptist, —a coystril as knewnothing of good liquor and good women.”“ You express the feelings of my family todaintiness ," he returned with his smile; “ and Iwould that my poor father was alive to hear you."“ You speak well,” says I, “ and there'smany that would take a journey even out of Hell to spit upon old Noll's bones.”“ I misdoubt,” he says reflectively, “ if myfather had designed that precise abode for himself. But it may well be he was wrong. Formy own part I find, no doubt with yourself,this present world a sufficient exercise for mythoughts —the more so that it has sometimesused me shabbily.”“ What calling may you follow? " I asked .Well,” says he with a sly look at me,“ 'tis a scarce one for pride, but, an' ye pressme, I must confess that I have the repute ofbeing a somewhat importunate beggar.”• What! ” says I in an amaze, are you awheedler? "230Of a Meeting at Fulhamno common“ Ah,” he says thoughtfully, “ I believe eventhat term has been put upon me, but the wordhas an ugly sound now I hear it.”But,” said I, for his appearance set the lieon his statement, “ you speak like a man ofquality . I'll warrant you arecanter. '“ True, " he says suavely. “ I am glad thatyou have observed that. I endeavour to be proportionate to my breeding; for, according to theacceptance of my friends, I derive from excellentparentage, though it is obvious a man may notvouch for so much in his own person .”6. What then? ” said I.“ Well,” said he smiling, “ I find my witsuse me better than my birth; that is all .”“ Ho! ho! ” I cried, for he spoke with suchplain modesty that I could not but give him credence. “ I wager you are a man of parts, then,to fig yourself out in this spruce fashion. It serves you very well , I dare swear.I am come to think on it, you have the cut of awheedler, and I doubt not also the maw;I fell to laughing.But he made no remark, merely smiling veryAnd nowand ܕܕ231Galloping Dick11 sedately; and when I was done I addressed himmore confidential. “ To be frank ,” said I, “ Itook you at the first, seeing that you were not inleague with the old Antick, for one on the lay .But I see you are not the bantam for that. Yourface and your paunch betray you! ” says I.“ How is that? ” he asked , looking at medubiously.“ O , well,” says I, “ you were featured andfigured for an apple-squire. That's your trade,"I says, “ and I'll warrant I could pin it to youan ' I poked a little closer.”He smiled broadly , and then, putting back hishead, went off into a gentle inward laugh veryjoyously.- My friend, ” says he, when he had come tohimself, but still chuckling, “ you strike home.In sooth, I had reckoned to keep the matter private, but, egad, there'sno deceiving your eyes; 'and he blinked at me humorously.But meeting his gaze, I could not refrain onmy part, and off I went into a peal . When Ilooked at him again he had took his reins inhand, but, leaning forward quickly , I seized thebridle at the mare's mouth.232Of a Meeting at Fulham>“ Come, come,” says I, with an oath, “ Iwill have you know, wheedler or apple-squire,that you are not your own master while Dick Ryder is in need of you, and since you have sought my company , by God, but you shall keepit until I choose .”A slight frown contracted his forehead , but immediately his eyes lit up with his habitual smile,and says he, “ My good man,” he says, “ I hadnot presumed to quit such hospitable acquaintance,for, in truth , I am too little used to such fellowshipas yours to desire to lose it hastily ."«And what the Devil," I cried with asperity,for his tone was something superior, “ do youwith your good man ’? I'll have you remember that I am any man's equal, to say nothing of a damned Cupid. ”“ As for good man , ” he replied suavely, “ Iwill not defend the adjective; and in respect ofequality -why, I daresay you make a betterthing of it than I. "Faith ,” says I, seeing he spoke so humbly,maybe I do. But an ' fullpockets to heart, there's stranger things havehappened than that I should put you on theyou take my233Galloping Dickroad to fortune yourself. I ha' made a dealmore goldfinches in a week than your kidney would gather in a twelvemonth. In a way Ihave ta’en a sort of liking to you."“ You are very good,” says he, as humbly asever: “ I should be pleased to learn of you .”“ O , damme,” says I, “ I'll teach you aproper trade. ' Tis better than to cozen oldmadams of their jewels and to snip the fal- lalsoffyoung punks. Sure, that is a sorry businessfor a Quaker-bodied, respectable old gentleman like you . "I thought he winced ever so slightly at that;but then, sending me one of his sly and smiling glances, he remarked , -Captain Ryder, if you can teach me a profession proper to my years,Ι can promise youthe gratitude of my friends;; ” and, making mea polite bow, he sat in his saddle, as thoughawaiting orders with docile attention.But somehow ( I could not say why ) theterms of his reply deranged me.There wasan air about him that was new to me, and I wasbewildered whether he was mocking at me ormerely sitting at my feet like an ignoramus. I234Of a Meeting at Fulham>raw .cast him up with as shrewd a gaze as I might,measuring him from his silver spurs to his big black wig, which he wore in the last fashion .But soon he interposed on my occupation .“ Captain Ryder,” he said gravely, “ I am awaiting instructions."I laughed a little at that, being still in myperplexity, but he threw me a glance ofreproach.“ I had scarce expected, Captain ,” says he,“ of one of your acknowledged and well-meritedrepute to mock at honest enthusiasm , howeverHumble as I be, I would scorn to puta slight upon any ardent heart . ”But I was none the more settled for this samespeech, which appeared to me to have a savourof the ironic; and yet I could pick no faultin his demeanour. For all that I was uneasythat he must be laughing at me, and so when he says more gaily, “ Come, Ryder, what sayyou, shall we take the road? ” I broke out in ablast of irritation .“ Damm you ,” I said . “ Do you think Ihave no better use for my limbs than to risk ' em upon a noddy that has lived to fifty years with235Galloping Dick>out having gotten even a horn- book knowledgeof life? "“ The reproach, Ryder,” says he, with an appearance of consideration, “ is too catholic . Iknow women very well , as you must admit.”“ And a fine field that is to grub in , ” I sayswith a sneer.“ ' T is very pleasant,” says he impartially;and at the word, spoken very takingly, andwith such an absence of offence, my dudgeonvanished , and I broke into laughter again .Damme," I says, “ you ’ re the man forme, in whatever gutter you make your livelihood; and you shall drink me fair at the• World's End ' to it, or by the Almighty , I'll batoon ye . ” 'The invitation was bluff enough in all conscience; but I suppose he accepted the spirit or it, for he replied, with a glance downward athis belly, —• Indeed, it is none so monstrous, Ryder,when all's said. But I will confess that it hasoutstripped my ambition by several inches.Yet do my friends assure me that it is in no wiseout of keeping, but rather, if I am to believe236Of aa Meeting at Fulhamathem , of quite an elegant distinction. In truth ,in my own little circle I am considered forsomething of a beau, and ' t is the fashion to aimat my precise girth .”“ A plague on you,” says I laughing, “ you round -bellied old hackney! You need rowelsupon you for to keep you trotting, and a fortnight of Little - Ease would best meet your case . ”“ I may come to that,” says he placidly, “ Imay come to that, an' I keep such company.”It was a merry jest, and not for me to takeoffence at; indeed, I liked him the better for hishumour; and pretty soon we were seated inthe tavern to ourselves, my lacemonger with astiff brew of French brandy and me with aquartern of ripe ale. He pulled a sour face overhis glass, for the liquor was not to his palate,but I jibed him on his dainty stomach. Faugh!” says I, "“ those light--o -loves spoil you. ' Tis well enough.. I know thestuff, as like as not the best brandy ever fetchedout of France under His Majesty's nose. Iwould think shame to live so maudlin as yourself, and you with the making of a man inyou!"237Galloping Dick“ I must apologise," he says politely, “ for my seeming discourtesy, for the feast is yours .And I have no doubt you are right as to thequality, but I fear me that my taste has been distorted by the stuff fubbed off upon me by mycousin in France. "“ Maybe he is in the trade? ” I inquired.“ 0 , ” says he smiling, “ a good manyhogsheads pass through his fingers in the year.”“ Ah! ” says I with a wink, “ and I misdoubt if it pays a farthing to His Majesty.”“ You are right , ” said he with a laugh .“ But in truth I have no grudge against HisMajesty , so be that I pay nothing . "“ You say well,” says I, “ 't is not a bad sort,Old Rowley, but a lazy chicken -spirited dog.' T would do him good were some one to fetchhim a toe in the hinderparts upon occasion ."“ Ah! ” says he, contemplating my boots with some interest; and then, meeting my eyes:• Is he worth it? ” he asked, smiling.“ Damme! ” says I, echoing his smile, “ Idon't know that he is . Let him go to theDevil his own way. ”“ You speak my sentiments," says he.238Of a Meeting at FulhamI called for Burgundy - some of the rightsupernaculum for him, and that he drank ofwith relish and intelligence, talking the whilewith a nimbler wit and a more persuasive airthan I had ever known. But soon, what between the drink and the incitement of our talk,and my own new - found liking for the man, mytongue began to clap merrily . To say the truth , I had purposed to press him upon hisname and style, for I felt sure he came of someposition, though probably lapsed in fortune; but,like the vain oaf I was, I fell to chattering moreof myself than of him, lecturing him like aschoolmaster, and informing him upon the Artof Life.Now , yours," I said, “ to my thinking is a mean - spirited line of trade. To dangle at apetticoat, and be kept in leash like a monkey, -' t is manner of conduct dead in the teeth of aman of heart. Not but what,” I says,not put a proper value Tame orwild, raven or rufous, Joan or my lady, if so beshe have colour to her flesh and marrow to herbones, I'll play the Spaniard with the best of' em ,” says I. “ But to stand for ever making«I canupon a female.239Galloping Dicklegs against the time she loves to manifest herhumour, Lord, ' t is quite another matter, andworth no man's respectability .”He had listened to me very seriously, thoughI thought that his mouth twitched at times; andwhen I was done, he observed with a deprecatingmanner,“ I fear you would put me to too rigorous aservice, Captain Ryder. At my age«Zounds, man,” I interrupted on him,“ you may be no green goose, but you 've thevitals of a man in you yet.”“ ' T is very courteous in you so to reassureme,”" he returned with a bow . “ But, indeed,you yourself have reminded me of my habit,”and he glanced at his stomach.«Gad! ” says I, a week on the pad willmelt that suet.”He rose, laughing good humouredly , andwith an air on him that somehow seemed to dismiss me; but I rose too.Faith ,” I says, “ you are not for horsebackyet. The ladies, sure, are not so exigent of your company. I promise you they will notgrow stale for lack of the likes of you."240Of a Meeting at Fulham

" Tut, tut!” he cries with acerbity , “ youride a jest to death . I like a man that plays upon more strings than one; ' and then ,“ Come, Ryder, you will observe that I do nottwit you with the Road .”• O, damn the Road,” I retorts in a roystering way. “ I am in the mind to expend thenight after quite another fashion; and had youthe spirit of a louse,” I says,“ 't would be toone of these same Ladies of the Lake you wouldoffer to present me.”At that his mouth suddenly quivered, and, hiseyes sparkling, he laughed faintly.“ But,” says he, “ you should consider myprofession . Where is my livelihood , should Iloose you on my private liberties? ”Maybe , ” says I, smacking my pockets, “ wecan arrange that atween us.“ Ah! ” says he, turning grave of a sudden. а“ Here's sense, and a commendable businesshabit.”I winked at him. or Said is done,” says I,and leaning forward, very facetious, dug myknuckles at his waistband.Upon my motion , and very instantaneously,CC241Galloping Dickhe withdrew his body out of range, and, hiswhole face changing, directed on me a short imperious gaze that stayed me in the act. NowI was fairly loosed by the liquor I had drunk, tosay nothing of the issues of my previous bouts,and I could not conjecture to this day what inspired me with the recognition , specially in that bibulous state . But the fact was that throughoutour intercourse I had had a growing uncertaintyof him, and now, with that fash of his eyes,thediscovery came upon me like a thunderclap , andI fell aback, dazed and disordered, with the knowl edge that here was His Gracious Ma himself that had been my companion!The revelation abashed me outright, and Istood staring on him, with all my wits aflowthe similitude of his features to the effigies I hadseen of him gathering clearer with each moment.But I suppose he referred my embarrassmentto his smart rebuke, or to mere drunken witlessness, for he smiled at last, and says he: “ Well,shall we conclude the bargain? ”But with his speaking consideration came tome, and I jumped up , feigning an eagerness, butstill very mazed .«242Of a Meeting at Fulham«Damn me," I cried , “ for sure, and no timewill better this. ” But all the while my brainswere busy with the discovery, and ' tween thatand the horsing I had opportunity sufficient to dispose my mind. And first it appeared to methat if ' t was Old Rowley for certain , it wouldill become Dick Ryder to subvert the entertainment he had chosen for himself; and that for solong as he was for being interpreted as a stark Adonis, for such I would use him in conduct.Whereas, for a second deduction, seeing that hehad put a subterfuge on me so far, why, damn it,' t was my privilege to put another upon him, an'I might. With which determination my thoughtscame to a conclusion; and presently , as wewerejogging along flank to flank, I says, counterfeit ing my former demeanour as near as may be," What style do they put upon this piece, youold satyr? ” I says.If he had taken any suspicions that I had unmasked him this must have settled them, and hereplied sedately: ““ Faith, among so many I canbut yes,” he says, " this must be Mistress Barbara . ”“ Barbara,” says I , smacking my lips; “ an'.scarce243Galloping Dick>aaI like her as well as her name, I'll warrant Mistress Barbara and I should be capital company. "“ Ah,” says he, showing his teeth in a softsmile, “ but I would have you warned that thissame Barbara hath a spirit. She is particular tothe point of phantasy. I have remonstrated moretimes than I can remember upon her whimsies,but she would aye fly out. They will bear no remedy. "“ As for that,” I said briskly , “ I like ' embest with the diabolic. A stark woman and afist o’ nails for me! ' T is a welcome diversionfor a fellow of mettle ."But all this time I was casting about to nominate the wench congruous to the rumours of theTown, and then the remembrance comes to me,and I know ' t was the Duchess of Cleveland ashe spoke of. And if I was in any doubt before,that resolved me upon the identity of my companion . But I said very little more, thoughscrewed to the pitch of a high sensation, untilwe drew up before a house near by the villageof Kensington. Here Old Rowley jumps to the ground.“ I had forgot to tell you," says he, turninga244Of a Meeting at Fulhamto me suavely, “ that there is a disagreement' twixt the lady and myself, and ' tis odds thatwe shall meet a hot reception .”But I only grinned, and presently , the preliminaries being arranged, we were admitted by afootboy , and found ourselves set in an ampleroom, enriched with many pleasant pictures and sumptuously ordered .“ Rip me,” says I, staring about the chamber,“ you are a prince among wheedlers to have thefreedom of this palace.”“ O , I do very well,” he returned , affably,and commands me some wine. But just as wewere sipping comes me in a strapping madam ,magnificently gowned, and her eyes like thelights in a black pool.“ You rogue ,” says I to Old Rowley, “ whatan admirable taste you show, for sure! ”“ I was in hopes,” says he in the same whisper, “ that you would have attributed the tasteto the lady. ' Tis a compliment they expect.”But she then, coming forward very rapidly,started aback slightly on seeing me, and drew herself up, questioning His Majesty with her eyes..“ Madam ,” says Old Rowley, bowing very<245Galloping Dickgravely , “ 't is a friend of mine, this good gentleman , to whom your name being used with alladmiration, he conceived a warm desire to bepresented to you —the which, as one acquaintedwith your catholicity, I have made bold to grant.Like myself, he stands without the Law, following an illicit calling.”Her brow darkened, and I could perceive fromvarious ensigns that she owned the temper of ashrew; and, says she very coldly, and with anangry look at Old Rowley, –“ I am honoured , indeed , by the gentleman'sadmiration .” And then, flinging herself into achair, she cries petulantly, “ Lard, what whimyou be at now? "But Old Rowley starts as with surprise, andspeaking in a pained voice: “ When I tell you,Madam ,” he says, ““ that Captain Ryder haskindly offered to instruct me in the delights ofthe King's Highway , you will see how much weshould be indebted to him for the opportunity toadd to our humble fortunes. ”But Madam shrugged her shoulders, and gavevent to a sigh of weariness seeing which Imade bold to speak up for myself.sey would>246Of a Meeting at Fulham66'Tis true enough, Madam ,” I says, steppinga pace forward, or what this old humorist hassaid; but sure, he has put it so ceremonious that I scarce recognise the bargain. For ' t was concluded atween us both that, if so be yourself, aswas like, being out of stomach with him, shouldbe agog for a new ligby mate, why here's aclaimant for the honour; ” with which I Alingsmy glove to the floor.Her ladyship burst out laughing very sourly,and turning to Old Rowley: “ Is this true? ”she asked .Now, I had thought to see him wince at myimpudence, but, Lord, not he!“ Why,” he says, with a pretty smile, “ ' tisset somewhat coarsely , but And then ,after a show of confusion: «Captain Ryder,you will perceive, would leave you every libertyof selection .”“ I should be accustomed ,” says she scornfully ,“ to be subjected to your vagaries; ” and stopped abruptly, seeming to reflect.Presently she looked up at me with a differentface.“ Captain Ryder," she says with a smile,>a>247Galloping Dick“you will, doubtless, pardon my seeming rude ness, but this news has fallen of the suddenest.I make no doubt but we shall be better acquaintedpresently ."“ Indeed,” I replied grandly, “ better acquainted is a phrase that, with your ladyship’spermission, shall be invested with a privatemeaning."“ So it shall," she says quite softly , andlooking at me with enticing eyes.Though it is not my part to brag of my person, I have lived too long not to know the valueof a smart coat and a pair of eyes, and I will confess that her ardent glances stung me to themidriff: more particularly as she next turned towards His Majesty, and with a dainty gestureof her arm , addresses me thus,Maybe, " she says, " you can persuade yourfriend, Captain, not to obtrude himself upon us in this unseemly fashion .”“• Why," says I promptly, “ now his duty is may go to the Devil, for me! ” and Itook a step or so towards Old Rowley.He seemed a trifle disconcerted , for I reckon' t was scarce the deportment he had expected in

over, he248Of a Meeting at Fulhamaور' t washer ladyship; but this was only for a second,and then he bowed very gravely.“ I feared, Madam ," he said, shaking hishead, “ that this would be my reception, onceyou were seised of a fine bird like this; and soI warned our Captain here.” And then to me:“ Ah, Ryder, 't is a heavy price to pay for yourgood offices upon the Road; ” and feigned tolook chapfallen .“ Maybe, " says I in a huffing way, “ but a fair bargain , and what would you?Should a stalwart full-bodied piece like Madamhere be fubbed off with a kind of Forty guts likeyou? Sink me, you rate yourself too high.”“ In truth ,” he answered, seeming despondent,“ You are right, I have but a poor notion of my own pretensions, and yet I will confess it hassharply vexed me to be so discountenanced .”There he sat, the rogue, leaning easily in hischair, and with a lugubrious expression on hisphiz, but his eyes, as I might perceive, very demure and luminous, shooting glances under hisbrows at Madam Barbara. But she avoided himcoldly, and turning to me murmured some fancyjape against him under her breath, and went off>249Galloping Dickinto a giggle of satiric laughter. ' Twas nothingto the point, indeed , but I slapped my thighs andfeigned to roar with her, while I was puzzlingmy brains to know what she was at. Old Rowley directed a quizzical look on us, and crossedhis legs calmly. I make no doubt but he wasdiverting himself hugely, but so was I, for thematter of that, and the more so that I was resolute to turn the tables upon him. So “ Look onhim! ” says I , going off again. " A muckrakelike that, as ought, from his investiture, to be a godly, sanctimonious saint - to think of hima pleader in the courts of love! "“ Nay ,” says Madam , ironically , “you must not be too hard on him. He is as God madehim .”May He make no such other! " I exclaimed.“ Amen! ” says she, with a vicious snap ofher teeth.Suddenly she bent forward to me, where Iwas seated near by, and put her white hand gently on my shoulder.“ Captain ," she whispered in a cooing voice,“ I will be plain with you. This man hath66a250Of a Meeting at Fulham66outlasted my endurance, and that's the fact.Lard, what I have stood from him would amazeye. '" You shall stand no more, ” says I fiercely ,but wondering what mischief she was conceiving.• Indeed ,” she says very softly , “ I ambeholden to you for your offices. T is hehimself that has brought deliverance to me.”“ That is so ," said I grimly; “ I will quityou no more.”She sighed, and lifting her eyes to mine,thinks to befool me with her blandishments.“ And there is one service you shall do me,”low .What is that? " I asked .6. You must know ,” she answers, droppingher voice still lower, “ that this same fellowhas upon him a precious necklet of mine, thewhich he hath appropriated for himself. Wrestit from him ," she whispers eagerly , “ wrest itfrom him, and let us be done with him forever. "At once I got a notion of what lay betweenthem, and the origin of this disagreement. Thenecklace, I guessed, must ha' been destined forshe says very251Galloping Dicksome other lightskirts; and my lady, being of ajealous disposition, was in the mind to capture it; while I was to be catspaw was II - toserye her ends . O well, thinks I, here's anew face to the adventure, at the least; andassuming a stern frown, I leapt to my feet andmade for Old Rowley, where he sat, very muchexercised , I daresay, upon what we wereexchanging“ Hark'ee,” says I, “ Master What--be-yourname.” He put his head to one side andregarded me whimsically. “ If 't were not foryour years I would learn you smartly to pilferfrom a lady —and as it is, and to avoid delay,I will have you disgorge me a certain necklaceas belongs to Madam here."Old Rowley started slightly, and a frownsettled on his forehead . He had not looked forthis, I could see, and for a moment he sent asharp glance at her ladyship . But she leanedback, and disregarded him.• What do you mean? ” he asked somewhatsternly .““ O ," says I mockingly , “ I reckon you areaware of my meaning. He that steals from his>252Of a Meeting at Fulhamaveys me.he says.mistress is a black thief, and you may be thankful if I do not prove that on your jacket.”He sat still, appearing to think, but manifestlyperplexed .“ Come, vomit, ” says I, and I raised myhand.“ Sirrah ,” he begins quite fiercely, and surThen all of a sudden he changes,and producing a packet from his pocket, handsit to me with a slight bow, but gnawing hislip all the while. “ I acknowledge my fault,”“ But indeed ' t was a present of mineto the lady, with a stone for every year of herlife .”As he spoke ΙI was dangling the toy on myfinger, and her ladyship's face, which had beengleaming with satisfaction , passed suddenly fromher natural colour, and she cried out some sharpexclamation - for indeed there wereforty jewels in the string than thirty. But thepossession of Old Rowley, together with thepat rejoinder which so put her ladyship about,tickled me so , that I could scarce forbear fromlaughter. And, sooth to say, as ' t was the firstoccasion on which I had confused him, I wasnearer253Galloping Dick66mightily pleased with myself; and none the lessthat I was to upset her ladyship still moreplumply. So clapping the trinket in my pocket I went back to her.I have it safe, ” says I.• Give it me, ” cries she, all excitement.Nay, nay,” says I, “ but you shall wearit upon our wedding night, I vow; notafore. ”For a moment her eyes seemed shut withfury , and then apparently upon reflection sheused another voice.“ You dear villain ,” she says in a coaxingtone, “ how you would torment me! I fearyou are a tantalising rogue.'“ O , no," I says with a cunning look, “ but' t is my usage to drive a proper bargain .”fie! " says misbeliever!Come let me see an' it be truly mine.”I shook my head. “ Never a blink,” saidI, «c afore that hour you wot of.”Her eyebrowscame down sudden . “ Troth, ”she says with a toss of her head, “ it is not gallant to make such terms. Love hath no conditions.. I am used to be trusted, Ryder, dear."- O,she , “ you254Of a Meeting at Fulham>hard on ye .CCAnd with that Old Rowley, who was seatedvery imperturbable, and patting a puppy- dog that was in the room, glanced up at me.«That's true enough, Ryder, " he saidcomically, and goes on with his fondling.“ There are times for trusting,” I answeredher, “ and there are times also for caution, butmaybe this is a time for neither. I will not be You shall exchange this prettyplaything against a veritable number of kissesa buss for each pearl," I says .How dare you? ” she cried imperiously .“ Hoity-toity , " says I, lifting my brows ather, and mimicking her voice: “ No one says• dare'to me; and ' t is but to anticipate the eventby an hour or so, as you will agree .”“ Sir- ” she began very shrill, and thenshe turned quickly upon Old Rowley, who,stooped over his dog, was softly chuckling tohimself.“ ' Tis you have done this,” she cried angrily .“ ’ T is your device to have instructed this varletso to insult me."He turned a whimsical face on her. «Faith,not 1,” he says. “ ' T is your own doing,255Galloping DickBarbara . You made love to him . Sure, I havenever seen a woman court a lover so warmly . ”But here I broke in, counterfeiting a fury.«Varlet! ” says I. “ And who the Devil gave you leave to put that phrase on me? Iwill take no such words from no man , and fromno woman neither. ”“ Leave this room , fellow , ” says she haughtily.• Sink me, if I do,” I says. 66 Here I havecome and here I stay; and what is more, Idesign to taste those pretty lips on this instant;with which I made as if to approach her.But she started away with an evil face on her;and Old Rowley sat in his seat, balancing a crownupon the spaniel's nose, and paying no heed toBut presently her ladyship's face changedvery smartly when she saw me advance, and shecalled to Old Rowley." Will ye witness this? " she says, with someagitation .But he, looking up , and appearing to noticeus for the first time, starts to his feet hastily.«Faith , I beg your pardon , ” he says, verysuavely, “ but I am fallen very forgetful. Sure,of course, I will not be trespassing upon twous.256Of a Meeting at Fulhamsuch billing doves;" and marched at once forthe door.But at this intimation her ladyship turned pale,and cried out for him to help her, retreating inhis direction , and keeping a fearful eye on me.I was vastly entertained to see the jade's consternation , for she was well paid for the strategyshe used on her royal lover. He came to apause by the door, assuming an air of perplexity,and then when she invoked him once more,feeling, I conceive, that the jest had run farenough, he came up to me and tapped me on thearm .>“ Ryder," said he, pretending to whisper,but in a voice very audible, “ you press her tooclosely. God forbid that you should fling herback on me. ' Twixt ourselves, I am well quitof her arrant temper. But serve her more gently ,and with a proper approach.”But I waved my arm impatiently at him.“ Stand aside, ” says I, “ for I will buss thisrecalcitrant Orinda or be damned , ” and I reachedmy hand as if to seize her.“ You ruffian , you! ” she cried, stimulated back into her haughtiness by Old Rowley's inter.out257Galloping Dickcried .vention. “ I will have you well whipped atthe cart's tail. I will put my mark upon you.”Why, for that matter,” said I, with a meaning laugh , “and I upon you.” But she gave alittle scream, and Old Rowley stood by seemingsomewhat embarrassed, for it was plain what Iwas minded to do. But upon my venturing afurther essay she stamped her foot in a frenzy.“ Do you not know who I am, fool? " she“ I am the Duchess of Cleveland. Iwill learn you to use your hands on persons ofquality .”" O ho! ” I says with a boisterous laugh.“ ' Tis high company we enjoy, for sure.Well,” I says," and I make no doubt but I amthe Great Mogul, and this here will be His Gracious Majesty himself.”Old Rowley, I saw, looked somewhat disconcerted, and eyeing me sharply, he says, –“ Come, come, Captain , do you not see youhave excited her so far that she will seek refugein any fiction? "That turned me on him, for I was tired ofher. “ Who the Devil are you , to interferebetween a gentleman and his miss? ” I says>258Of a Meeting at Fulhamور60 asroughly. “ I will take it upon myself to teach you manners! ” and with that I drew on him.He was not at all put about by this, butsmiled in a soothing fashion .“ No doubt,” says he, looking at my weapon ,«'t is the ardent spirit proper to a lover, Captain,but you will perceive you have drawn upon anunarmed man .”Well,” says I, I may not pink you withthe point, I will e'en trounce you with theflat; ” and I stepped to him, iron in hand.And now for the second time Old Rowley'sface fell, and he withdrew a pace, while Madam cried out in an alarm for me to stay my hand, asI knew not what I was doing. But he, sendingher aa command out of his eyes, made me a prettybow.Captain Ryder," said he with a rare mastery of himself, “ I am in the wrong, for to lacka weapon is no excuse for a gentleman of honour.But, an' I may, I will remedy the want, and wemay meet upon any terms you choose .”" What would you? ” I asked .“ I will send a footboy for my weapon and afriend to serve us,” he replied.259Galloping DickI reflected; and then: “ So be it ,” I says,“ an' you bring no bullies of your own kidneyupon me. ”1 “ Yourself shall see the letter, Captain ,” hesays, courteously . With which he got himswiftly to the table, and seizing a pen, scribbledme off a note, the which he handed for my inspection .The epistle was innocent enough, and contained no hint of the circumstances; and, moreover, I could ha' fastened my faith on OldRowley, that he would not employ treacheryagainst me. But all the same I passed the halfhour that ensued in a sweat of conjecture, as towhat was to fall out. It seemed that I, maybe,must presently cross swords with His Majesty's own self, the which, as you may imagine, I was in no haste to do. But then I considered thatwith the introduction of his friend the affairmight dispose itself in a new way; and that itwas his appearance that was to procure OldRowley out of his predicament. And yet again,if that was so, I could not but wonder why hedid not reveal himself on the moment. In fine ,I could not bottom his design, which, whatever260Of a Meeting at FulhamCOit was, seemed comfortable enough to him, for heexpended the time quite easily, frolicking with the dog, and conducting a casual conversationupon indifferent topics with Madam and me.To see him so urbane and unruffled, you mighthave supposed he was a host enlivening hisguests. But Madam had obviously passed into astate of despair, and bit her lips, and lookedfrightened, and once she spoke, appealing tohim.May not this farce end? ” she says.Old Rowley looked at her with a politeexpression of surprise.“ Farce! ” quoth he, as in mild reproach:“ You take lightly what may well be a tragedyfor me, Barbara. I wish I could simulate yourdeportment; " and resumed his antics in thecoolest manner.Just upon that there comes me the footboyto the door, with the news that a gentlemanwas waiting upon us below; I turned to OldRowley- This is not to betray me? ” I says, verysuspicious.“ I give you my word, Ryder,” he returned261Galloping Dick37aheartily, " that I will hold no communionwith him, and you shall explain the situationyourself.”At that I ordered the lackey to bring upť other, and soon there sounds a jangle of spursin the doorway, and enters a tall fellow , veryelegantly dressed . Directly his face was to me, ripme, but I could ha' cried out with chagrin , for' t was the face, as you will believe me, of no otherthan the cully that I had rumpadded that evening.In a twinkling I had the notion of that gloriousold rogue's manæuvre; but I made no exclamation, holding back as sober as a judge. Thenew comer made polite devoirs to Madam Castlemaine and Old Rowley, who, on his part,answering the congee with solemnity, addressedhim gravely ,“ I am so unfortunate as to pick a quarrel withthis gentleman here, who will, on his ownrequest, explain your errand, ” he says, lookingtowards me without a sign .T'other turns on me with a little frown, for hewas a staid, pompous creature, and maybe did not fancy such escapades; and then his browscontracted, and he scowled very blackly at me.262Of a Meeting at Fulham“ I think, sir,” he says stifly,> “ but I have alittle business with this —gentleman that musttake precedence even of yours.”“ Indeed! ” says Old Rowley, with anaffable look of surprise; and then, seating himself comfortably: “ Pray do not let me interrupt you then.'Sirrah ,” says Gold- lace brusquely, “ I seeyou recognise me.”Now all this time I was cudgelling of mywits to hit upon a plan of conduct. For thematter of that I should not ha' minded to try apass with the solemn ninny on the spot; but Iknew that His Majesty was seated as spectator tothe play, and that it would divert him whichway soever the affair went; and I was resolvedto subvert his enjoyment, an' I might. So putting on a dumb expression of bewilderment, Istared on the fellow without any intelligence.“ Faith, you have me at a disadvantage,” Isays; " I misremember to have met you .”But he had grown very choleric. " Ifancy ," he rejoined, grimly , “ that I may spuryour memory. ”“ You will be no bum -bailiff? " I asked inno263Galloping Dickcently . He flew scarlet, laying his fingers onhis sword .“ Let me recall you ,” he says sharply, “ acertain encounter nigh Fulham at eight of theclock this evening, when I had the privilege ofmeeting with a sturdy rascal as like yourself asneed be."I put up my head haughtily . “ Sink me, doyou insinuate ' t was I? ” I cried .“ You have been long in taking my meaning,he says sardonically.Here was the point for the diversion I had contrived , and so says I, suddenly changing mytones to sullenness: “ You cannot prove it .”“ I think,” he says with a laugh, “ my wordwill serve with the Justices against a commonscampsman .”“ You will not prosecute? ” I asked in acringing note, and Old Rowley pricked up hisears ." Troth, and I will even now have youcharged and clapped in Newgate,” he you may do," says Ivery surly, “ but I can prove an alibi."«What you may264Of a Meeting at Fulham“ That,” he says with a sneer, “ you shall have the opportunity of doing in the dock .”“ I can bring a witness to support it, beyonddispute," says I. “ Indeed ,”" he says ironically , “ and whomay that be? "««Why,” says I, “ at eight o'clock I was inthe company of no other than His Most GraciousMajesty, King Charles, the Second of that name,himself.”Even as the words were off my tongue, Ilooked at Old Rowley, but to my desperatechagrin he makes never a motion, and not an eyelash budges on him. ' Tis true that Madamgave vent to a little cry , but His Majesty himselfsat as still and little concerned as the dead.“ What is this? ” cries Gold-lace, lookingfrom me to Old Rowley in some perplexity andas though uncertain of his cue.“ I fear, Captain ,” says Old Rowley smoothly,“ that here is some mistake; for, if you willrecollect, ' t was I that had the privilege of yourcompany at the hour you name.”Faith , and I made bold to recognise yourMajesty,” said I, but feeling something abashed .265Galloping Dick1" What!” says he, opening his eyes, andthen went off into laughter.«Indeed, Captain, you have honoured me very greatly. ButnowI come to think on it, if you supposedme so, you have used me pretty scurvily foraprince.”“ Are you not the King?" saysI, feeling verysheepish and somehow staggered in my confidence by his demeanour.“ Why, yes,” says he waggishly,“ and you are the Great Mogul, as we agreed .” I stood there, as you may fancy, much dumfounded, and for the moment ata loss for words,but my gold-laced friend fetched me to mysenses

for says he in his turn

,“ Come, come, my good scoundrel, youforget that we have not discharged our business.These shifts will not serve you."At thatI turned, very savagely, forI knewvery well’t was Old Rowley himself, now thatthe first surprise was over


I saw no wayto deliver myself, and it made me mad to consider that he had been tickled to see me befoolmyself for Heaven knows how long.“ Damn you,” saysI,“ an' it be not His266Of a Meeting at Fulham>crossMajesty, why, then , I will claim a prior settlement with him, afore I deal with you .”My man of quality said nothing, but glancedat the King a little startled , and he, on his part,showed a few signals of embarrassment.Come,” says I, encouraged by this success.«An' I may not swords with HisMajesty, I may with plain Master Rowley,shall we say? ”Hereupon His Majesty's eyes lit up slowly,and the smile broadening upon his face he burstout into merriment.“ On my soul, Captain Ryder," says he, “ Ivow you would make a very good Indianemperor. ”“ And you, Mr. Rowley , ” says I as quick as himself, “ would become a very proper king.”“ Nay, Ryder," says he, subduing his laughter, but still gaily, “ then I believe that you andI are the only two people in the realm thatthink so. ”But the other two, both my lady and mylord, stared upon us, for their wits, I reckon,were scarce nimble enough for the change, andthey looked astounded to see us conversing as if267Galloping Dickupon a mutual understanding. Indeed, my lordseemed puzzled to determine if I knew 't wasthe King, and if the King were willing that heshould be himself. And he stood like an owlpursing his lips, till Old Rowley turned tohim.“ I fear, Danby,” says he demurely, “ that "the rogue is right and that he will escape justicethis time. You see, if he was to call upon me,I must testify to the truth .”“ As for the matter of my Lord Danby'spurse,” said I, stepping forward , “ if yourMajesty will recall, it was none so fat, and Imisdoubt but we have expended all upon ourrevels. But an' I may make restitution in another way, maybe this trinket will suffice for itsvalue; ” and down I Aung the necklet on thetable .My Lord Danby gaped in an amaze, andOld Rowley, lifting his eyebrows humorously,glanced upon it with a rueful air, and surveyedMadam askew.“ Take it, Danby , " says he, -“ and forgivethe varlet. ”But my lord, who was regaining his com268Of a Meeting at Fulham5 lordat he>USIC4mornd Iposure, raised the jewel gingerly on his fingerawhile, and then with a sudden assumption ofgallantry", very ludicrous to witness in him:Nay, ” he says," here is no trinket fora man; ” and with a bow presents it to mylady.She was hugely delighted , and looked triumphantly at Old Rowley, but he followed thegawd with a quizzical glance of dismay.“ Odds fish!” says he, “ had I bent to theinevitable earlier, we should have been sparedall this ado . ”“ I would not ha' missed it for a fortune,your Majesty, " says I warmly.“ Ah! ” he says, “ I daresay not, Captain.But then you come off better than I, by mypoor Danby's purse.”“ Your Majesty had your share , ” said I. “ Why, so I did," he replied with a smile;and suddenly he pulls out a watch from his foband regards it contemplatively, and says he, veryserious but inexpressibly comical: “ His Excellency the French Ambassador has now been waiting for me one hour and three quarters uponurgent business." And covering a tiny yawnI the>usik,eyedirecom269Galloping Dickhe threw me a genial nod and passed out of theroom.As for me I got forth in high feather, and,mounting my nag- ( it was afore Calypso'stime) - rode for the “ Bull's Head,” mighty full of my adventures, as you will believe.2701t of thePRINTED BY JOHN WILSON AND SONAT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS AT CAMBRIDGE FOR STONE AND KIMBALL,PUBLISHERS, OF CHICAGO.MDCCCXCV.i, and.eve1

Stanford University LibraryStanford, CaliforniaIn order that others may use this book ,please return it as soon as possible, but not later than the date due.GALLOPING DICKbyH.B.MARRIOTT WATSON-

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